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Denis John Cassivi

Passed on: November 11th, 2008

63, Howie Centre Well-known Canadian educator and author, Denis John Cassivi, passed away at the age of 63, on Nov. 11, 2008, in Sydney, N.S., following a lengthy but valiant battle with cancer. The son of the late Armand L. Cassivi originally of Cap-Aux-Os, Que., and Jennie (McDuff) Cassivi, originally of Guysborough, N.S., he is survived by his loving spouse, Colleen (Molloy); his first daughter, Angela D'Souza (husband Darren) and their two children, Kayleigh and Jacob; his second daughter, Christine; his brothers, Louis (wife Louise), Courtney, B.C., David (wife Susan), Windsor, Ont.; his sister, Betty (husband Frank Regan), Boston, Mass. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Donald Molloy and his wife Betty, Dartmouth, N.S.; and sister-in-law, Sharon and her husband, Andrew Monroe, Halifax, N.S.; and several nieces and nephews. Denis was born in Halifax, N.S. He graduated from St. Mary's University High School and later from SMU with a BA in political science, bachelor of education and his MA in education. His early teaching career included various high schools throughout the province, as well as St. Mary's University, Mount St. Vincent University and McGill University in Montreal. He was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University in England, where he was associated with Clair College and the Cambridge Institute of Education. In 1979, he was appointed program director of continuing education at the University College of Cape Breton in Sydney, N.S., and completed a 20-year career with the university. During this period he was appointed research assistant for the Royal Commission on Post Secondary Education in Nova Scotia. He became registrar at UCCB in 1994. Denis established Angeline Enterprises, a private consulting company, advising on matters in education, research and community development. At the time of his passing he was proudly associated with New Dawn Enterprises, Sydney, where he had been director of Highland Resources College and the New Dawn Foundation. His achievements in the field of education include the establishment of the first Teacher's Centre in the Atlantic Provinces in Linkletter, P.E.I., the founding of the Children's Centre at UCCB; the founding of the Center for Leadership Development at UCCB; the establishment of the Advanced Level Diploma Programs in English Communications, Curriculum, Educational Leadership and Counselling. Denis authored three books and several scholarly papers in the field of education. He was recently awarded a doctoral fellowship for study at the University of London, England. Denis's entire adult life was spent in the field of education and particularly in adult education and community development. His special interest was in promoting critical thinking for active, mature participation in the community by confronting superstition, bigotry, prejudice and greed. Denis will be sorely missed by the educational and academic community. The most painful void however, will be felt by his spouse, Colleen and daughters, Angela and Christine, who basked in his inspiring optimism, and faithfully stood with him through his courageous battle with cancer. In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place. A gathering to remember Denis will be held Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, from 6-9 p.m. at T.W. Curry Parkview Chapel. Funeral mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Sydney River, Saturday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. with Rev. Will MacPherson officiating. Interment to follow at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lower Sackville, N.S. Online condolences may be sent to twcurryparkviewchapel@ns.sympatico.ca or www.mem.com. Donations in his memory to Cape Breton Palliative Care or a charity of choice.


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