Obituary for John "Jack" M. Cassebaum
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John "Jack" M. Cassebaum

August 12, 1940 ~ September 2, 2015 (age 75)

John “Jack” M. Cassebaum


Jack M. Cassebaum, affectionately known as “Coach Cass”, 75, of Elizabethtown, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at Lancaster General Hospital surrounded by his loving family. 


He was born August 12, 1940 in Scranton to the late John C. and Rena (Steckbeck) Cassebaum.

At age 12, Jack moved to Masonic Children’s Home in Elizabethtown, where he received guidance and encouragement that changed the direction of his life. Jack was a 1958 graduate of Elizabethtown Area High School and was a member of the 1957 undefeated football team.  He went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree from East Stroudsburg State College. Cass began his teaching career at Pottsville and Easton where he was an assistant football coach and later became the head coach at Northern Lehigh (formerly Slatington), J.P. McCaskey, Punxsutawney and lastly, his alma mater, Elizabethtown. He also coached track and field and cross country throughout his career. Additionally, he owned and operated the Punxsy School of Gymnastics and was a licensed insurance agent. He was inducted into the Susquehanna Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame as well as Elizabethtown Area School District Athletic Hall of Fame.  Cass was also a member of St. Peter Catholic Church, the Optimist Club, and the Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682 F.&A.M., all of Elizabethtown. 


Jack married his high school sweetheart, Kathleen (Evans) Cassebaum, and remained an adoring and loving husband for over 53 years. He will be profoundly missed by his four children: Jennine (Bill) Volchko of Elizabethtown; Jackie (John) Spittal of Elizabethtown; Jill (Dave) Buck of Somerset; Bryan E. Cassebaum, of Elizabethtown; five grandchildren: Tara (Eric) Zimmerman, Cory (Jenny) Volchko, Shane Volchko, Julia and Johanna Spittal; two step-grandchildren: Alyssa and Aaron Buck; six great grandchildren: Travis, Casse, Evan and Livi Zimmerman; Jemma and Savannah Volchko; a sister, Jeanne Kopek, of West Chicago, Illinois as well as Jack’s extended family and caring friends.  He was predeceased by a brother, Joseph Cassebaum.


Cass will be fondly remembered for his motivation, inspiration and unparalleled enthusiasm.  He had a remarkable ability to inspire others to achieve greatness as evidenced by turning losing teams into winning programs that not only had an impact on the athletes he coached, but the entire school and community. He loved his life, family, and friends and his legacy will continue through the many lives he has touched.  


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at St. Peter Catholic Church, 904 Mill Road, Elizabethtown, PA with Father Steven W. Fauser as Celebrant.  Interment will be private at Mount Tunnel Cemetery following the Funeral Mass. The family will receive guests at a celebration of Coach Cass’s Life and memory sharing at the Freemason Cultural Center, 77 Freemason Drive, Elizabethtown between 2 and 5 PM on Saturday, September 12. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Miller-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, 130 North Market Street, Elizabethtown, PA  17022.

In lieu of flowers, the family is establishing a memorial scholarship fund in Jack’s name. Donations can be made to Kathleen Cassebaum and sent to Atty Randall K Miller 1255 S Market St Ste 102, Elizabethown, PA 17022.  Condolences and memories may be shared at

 Service Information

Mass of Christian Burial
September 12, 2015

11:00 AM
St. Peter Catholic Church
904 Mill Road
Elizabethtown, PA 17022

September 12, 2015

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Brossman Ballroom at Masonic Village
One Masonic Drive
Elizabethtown, PA 17022

Private Interment

Mount Tunnel Cemetery
1058 South Market Street
Elizabethtown, PA 17022

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