Townsend Mills “Ted” Cass

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Sumner Iowa and Sullivan Maine

Townsend Mills “Ted” Cass, born in Waterloo Iowa in 1934, died peacefully  July 30 at a health care facility  in Brewer, Maine.  He spent part of his childhood in Tulsa OK, and   was for many years a resident of Sumner IA where the family owned the Cass Family dairy and crop farm. He and his former wife  Nuna  moved to Sullivan ME in 1986 from Clermont, Iowa.

Ted was  a remarkable individual who left a strong impression on everyone who knew him. He spent at least one college summer as a merchant mariner (oiler and wiper,) working as a deckhand on a Texaco oil tanker, little knowing that a coasting trip from Texas, which included jumping into Portland Harbor on a dare, (and getting out of the water as fast as possible)  and a stop at Brewer, would be first glimpses of his last home state.

A Spanish teacher by training, with a degree from Trinity College in Hartford CT, and a Masters degree at the Middlebury Language Schools in VT, he traveled widely in Spain whenever he could. Ted taught at the Minnesota School for the Blind in Faribault,MN, the Mount Hermon School in MA, at the Pomfret School in CT., the White Mountain School in NH and at St. Marks School in MA. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chile, later agricultural program manager in Uruguay, a crew member on the Antarctic research vessel “Hero,” a philosopher, a traveler, a talker,  and a vegetable gardener (“I’m going down to talk to the cabbages.”) He was an ardent fan of the  Iowa NCAA  Hawkeye wrestling team.  Locally, he worked at Sorrento’s Blink Bonnie golf course, and for Clayton Nowell Plumbing and Heating in Hancock. He and Nuna also ran Green Hill Farm B&B for ten years.

Ted read widely, was a history buff, and had a fascination for people’s’ stories from all walks of life, with good tales of spending one summer working with a Basque shepherd out west. A relative once said, “Ted could hold an intelligent conversation with a fencepost.” He was a good correspondent, who wrote by hand with a fountain pen on yellow paper, or clacked away on an ancient upright typewriter.  He was known for his strong convictions and fully-engaged friendships.

A series of strokes forced a move to the Brewer Center for Health and Rehabilitation, where Ted lived courageously for 13  years.
He was predeceased by his parents, Richard S. Cass and Jane Pratt Cass of Sumner IA and Tulsa OK, his sister Lee Cass Carter, and his brother Richard S. Cass Jr. He is survived by  his sister-in-law Sandra Cass, nieces, nephews and cousins. He is also remembered by many friends locally and abroad. He will be missed.

Special thanks to Ted’s loyal local and from-away friends, the caring staff at Brewer Center for Health and Rehabilitation, and to his team from Brennan-Alley Associates of Bucksport for their years of continuing care and attention, which made Ted’s last years bearable.
Bragdon-Kelley of Ellsworth will host a memorial gathering (informal) for friends to be held from 5pm-7pm on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. Interment will be in the Cass family plot in the Union Mound Cemetery, Sumner Iowa, at Ted’s request.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Sumner Public Library 206 N. Railroad Street Sumner, IA 50674 email: library@sumner.lib.ia

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