Donna Cassano Obituary (2022) – Flagstaff, AZ
Donna L. Cassano, beloved friend and sister, ardent advocate for animals both wild and domestically homeless, and mission-driven explorer and learner passed away gently the morning of July 4, 2022.Known to many as a foster mom for “challenging” dogs , Donna made finding loving homes for her own buddies a top priority as her health declined.
In addition to becoming skilled at everything from jewelry making to electronics, Donna was an all-around athlete, graduating from college on an athletic scholarship. She was adept at softball, soccer, field hockey, mountain biking, hiking, rafting and rock climbing — and dancing on cars in big purple boots. She enjoyed exploring the wilds of the Southwest and it was this love of the canyons, forests, mountains, and deserts that drew her from her friends and family in Pennsylvania to Flagstaff. Once here, Donna immediately became involved with supporting and assisting Dine elders living at Big Mountain. She met many long-time friends doing this work as well as her work to raise awareness of the immense threats facing Mexican wolves struggling to survive in their historical habitat.
Donna was born in The Bronx in New York City, NY and was preceded in death by parents Joseph Salvador Cassano and Rita Palma (Suriano) Cassano. She is survived by her 3 sisters, Carol Klinedinst, Denise Cassano, and Linda Schumberger, extended family, and scores of friends across the country who would have loved to go camping one last time with their endlessly curious, kind, and generous friend.
There will be a memorial gathering at 2:00pm this Saturday, September 3, 2022. It will be held at a place she called “Rocky’s Woods”, just a short stroll on the trail off of Klondyke Rd (0.2 miles from where it intersects with Powell Blvd). Watch for ribbons. In the spirit of Donna’s generosity, those so moved should donate to, or volunteer with, a local animal rescue group or organization working to protect wildlife and habitat. There will also be a local animal rescue fundraiser in Donna’s name at 3:00pm on Friday, September 2nd at Dark Skies Brewery.
Published by Arizona Daily Sun on Sep. 2, 2022.
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