Celebrating the life of

Betty Colleen Cassiday

Passed away on July 28, 2020

Betty Colleen Cassiday

Betty Colleen Cassiday went to be with the Lord on July 28, 2020 after a hard-fought battle with cancer.  Her husband was by her side when she passed away.

Colleen was married to Ken Coe for over thirty-six years. They began dating in 1982 after meeting in a singles group at church and were married in 1984 in Whitefield Square.  They were not only husband and wife, but best friends.  Colleen was a dynamo, creative and outgoing; Ken, more analytical and reserved.  It was a great partnership, and their personalities blended well.  They went through the good and tough times together, loving and supporting each other all along the way.  The void left by her passing, to him and those who knew and loved her, is huge.  She still had so much left to give.

Colleen was born in Enid, OK in 1949, the only daughter of C. E. and Betty J. Cassiday.  Being part of a military family, she spent her early years in Oklahoma, Alaska and South Carolina before her family moved to Savannah.  Knowing from childhood that she wanted to be a schoolteacher, she continued her education after graduating from Jenkins High School in 1967, earning a B.S. in Education degree from the University of Georgia in 1971 and a Master of Education degree from the University of Missouri in 1976.  She later attended Georgia Southern University and earned an Education Specialist degree in 1991.

Colleen spent thirty-four of her thirty-five year career teaching elementary and primary grades in Richmond Hill.  She started the gifted education program for Bryan County in the early 1980s.  She had a God given ability to teach and a passion for her students to excel and maximize their potential.  One former student stated Ms. Cassiday "used any and every way to grab the attention of her students, often going to extremes to make learning fun and interesting."  Another said "she instilled in me a motivation to succeed at such an early age," while another told her "you were the most inspirational and molding teacher I had."  She emphasized not only mastering the subject matter, but developing creative thinking and problem-solving skills as well as ethical values.  Her impact on her students was great, evidenced by many former students that kept in touch with her over the years and thanked her for the positive influences she had on them.  Many invited her to their graduations, weddings and baby showers.  Some told her that they were striving to teach their own children in the way she taught them.  Recognized by students and peers alike, she was honored with multiple teaching awards, including Bryan County Teacher of the Year in 1985 and 2006, the Savannah Morning News Award of Excellence on two occasions, and Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

Colleen was an active member of the Windsor Forest Neighborhood Association and was on its Board of Directors.  She worked part-time for a few years as a real estate agent, and could have been a successful interior decorator; she often helped friends to redecorate or reorganize their homes, and her own home clearly showed her decorating style and flair. Colleen was also a dog lover; she and Ken volunteered for many years with the Sav-A-Life Animal Welfare Agency, and they adopted quite a few of its "hard to place" dogs.  She was an avid reader and enjoyed line dancing, yoga, and playing board games.

Her personality was vibrant, and her dress was flamboyant, yet classy.  She had one speed when awake-fast; she would often leave Ken behind in a store, unable to keep up.  But he could always find her by listening for her unmistakable, infectious laugh coming from another aisle, seeing someone she knew seemingly no matter where she went.  She cherished time with family, especially enjoying football parties and holiday dinners with brother Mike and wife Elizabeth or "brother" Ted and wife Lois, vacationing with Ken in St. Thomas and Nantucket with "sister" Peggy and husband Dave, and "catching up" long distance with her beloved Aunt Shirley.

Colleen was a believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and her faith was evident in how she lived her life.  She was an enthusiastic and active member of the Isle of Hope United Methodist Church and the Seekers Sunday school class, always enjoying Sunday worship services and the study of God's word.  She was a beautiful person both inside and out.  She was kind, loving and giving; a real people person, genuinely interested in and caring for family, friends and acquaintances alike.  Even during her time in Hospice Savannah, she made an impact on the staff in the midst of her devastating illness with her "sweet smile" and fighting spirit.

A memorial service will be held at Isle of Hope United Methodist Church on a date to be determined.   

In addition to her husband, Kenneth Coe, Colleen leaves behind her brother, Michael D. Cassiday (Elizabeth) of Savannah, GA; aunt, Shirley M. Howerton of Alex, OK; sister-in-law, Peggy Cariseo (Dave) of Vero Beach, FL; brother-in-law R. Ted Coe (Lois) of Savannah; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Colleen's memory to the Isle of Hope United Methodist Church, Missions Fund, 412 Parkersburg Road, Savannah, GA 31406 or Hospice Savannah, P.O. Box 13190, Savannah, GA 31416.





Colleen brought joy to everyone she met always putting others before herself. My thoughts and prayers are with Ken and family as they celebrate the life of one of God’s true angels.

- Dianne S Thurman, Hoschton, Georgia

Mrs. Cassidy will forever be in my memories, she was an amazing teacher with a heart of gold and an infectious laugh. She will be greatly missed. Prayers for her family for peace and comfort!

- Cathy Reed Lewis, Buford, Ga

Colleen was an amazing teacher. When I came to Richmond Hill to teach I realized right away that she was someone I could learn from and laugh with.

- Diane Barry, Richmond Hill, GA

Colleen touched so many lives and will be missed terribly. She was such an inspiration to everyone she was around. There was no limit to her creativity and her passion for teaching was evident to all of us. Her positive energy was wonderful and she sure loved her students. I picture her in Heaven racing up and down golden hallways , leading others, and laughing her infectious laugh. Mrs. Cass was a legend.

- Cindy Bosela , Eustis , Florida

All I can say is if wasn’t for her I would have never reached any of the milestones I have in my life. I was one of her first “gifted” students and she helped unlock my mind so I could accomplish things I never thought I could. My mother Lynda adored her and became a friend. I always made a point of coming back to the Hill and visiting her after I moved away. She will be greatly missed. God speed and farewell Ms. Cassidy! The family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

- Kevin Hodges, Savannah , GA

Colleen was a light that shone so brightly. My family was blessed to know her as a teacher and a coworker and friend. She was a Gift to us all! My prayers are with Ken and all of Colleen’s Family. Those who knew her will carry her light with them always!

- Ellen Parker, Richmond Hill, Georgia

Praying for you. She was a wonderful teacher and amazing woman.

- Goodrich , Richmond Hill, Georgia

Colleen left an impression on everyone that had the blessing of being in her presence. When I went into Gifted Education in RH, I knew that I would never fill her shoes. So I decided to soak up every little thing that I could from her. She left such a mark on education and most especially gifted education. Colleen was an advocate for those students and taught me to always stand up for them. She held her students to high standards but they knew that she loved them. I know that many many many of them are much better for having been taught by her. I still hear her awesome laugh! I hope that she has her ketchup in Heaven and that everyone can keep up with her. Ken, I am praying for you and the rest of the family. Love you Cass and miss you dearly.

- Varina Moser, Hinesville , GA

It's hard to know where to begin with our memories of Cass! She and Gary taught 5th grade together in our first years in RH, late 70's. The infamous trip to the Sugar Bowl will never be forgotten. She was such a wonderful teacher and all around good person. We loved her mom, dad, brother, and of course Ken. She will be missed by many!!! R.I.P.

- Gary and Beth Odom, Richmond Hill, GA

I am devastated by the loss of one of my dearest friends. Cass was like another sister to me. We had so many fun adventures together over the last 36 years. I will miss her beautiful smile, her endless energy, and love for life. The world has lost a shining light and endless fountain of joy. She was one of the finest people I have ever known. My deepest sympathy and love to her family, especially to Ken who was her strength and true love until the end. Rest In Peace, Cass. Love you always.

- Paula DeVivo, Fort Myers, FL

A candle has been lit!

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted “. She lived her life to the fullest and lit up any room with her unforgettable smile. She will be missed.

- Cindy Shultz , Richmond Hill, GA

Mrs. Cassiday was hands down the most influential teacher I had in all my years of schooling. She taught with such passion, made learning fun and helped us develop skills that we would use for the rest of our lives. Whether we were writing to companies to stop animal testing, learning business skills in the paper airplane factory, solving stories with holes or playing awful aardvark in the bulldog corner, every day was different and I always looked forward to going to her class. Thank you for giving and teaching us so much in our formative years, Mrs. Cassiday. May you Rest In Peace. Thoughts are with her husband and family.

- Lisa O’Neil King, Brisbane, Australia

Mrs. Cassiday was bigger than life to me as a small child. I was in her gifted class many years ago. She challenged our minds and hearts, never allowed us to settle for “just okay” and set standards I’m sure we all still abide by. She pushed us to be creative and to be different so we could shine. She had a huge heart and an infectious laugh and will be missed by all that knew her. It was an honor to be her student and friend.

- Angie Real, Myrtle Beach, SC

I am saddened to see this. She taught some of our children and always kept up with them. I am sorry for your loss dear family, she was special

- Beverly Clark, Richmond Hill, Ga

Ms. Cassiday was my teacher from 1st grade until...5th or 6th? SO many of my fondest and weirdest and strongest childhood memories involved her. She was joyful and exciting and gave so much to those around her. I’m wishing strength and peace to her family. Know that she lit hundreds, maybe thousands, of little flames in young people that went out into the world. May we all continue to carry her spark.

- Melody Hanlon, Atlanta, GA

Mrs. Cassiday was one of my favorite teachers in all of my years of being in school. She had a way of making sure each person she interacted with felt truly seen. I appreciated that even as a child. It was a blessing to have her as a teacher.

- Blaine Crosland, Savannah, Ga

I had Mrs. Cassidy for 5 years as a teacher in Richmond Hill. I still think about lessons she taught and activities she planned—my first plane ride, marching in the Georgia parade, learning economics by making paper airplanes, paging at the Ga Senate, watching her make faces during our fluoride treatments. My family went to her wedding, and we were delighted to see our beloved Mrs. Cassidy so happy. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to come as a Comforter for her family, and for all of us who were touched so deeply by her life.

- Rev. Rebecca Duke-Barton, Jesup, Ga

I just saw that Colleen had passed. She touched so many lives as well as our children. I don’t think I ever saw her without a smile one her face. She lite up a room when she entered.i worked with Colleen for many years and every time she walked into the RHHS, we always had a laugh or two. She will be sorely missed and a great loss to the Bryan County Board of Education. So now Colleen will be teaching and learning to a higher level. God Bless You My Friend...

- Peggy Finley, Richmond Hill, GA

I just saw that Colleen had passed. She touched so many lives as well as our children. I don’t think I ever saw her without a smile one her face. She lite up a room when she entered.i worked with Colleen for many years and every time she walked into the RHHS, we always had a laugh or two. She will be sorely missed and a great loss to the Bryan County Board of Education. So now Colleen will be teaching and learning to a higher level. God Bless You My Friend...

- Peggy Finley, Richmond Hill, GA

Ken I'm so sorry to read of Colleen's death. May God bless and comfort you

- Mae Bartleson, Madison, GA

Mere words seem inadequate to describe the positive impact that Colleen Cassiday has had on the Pearl family. Shortly after we moved to Richmond Hill in 1992 our oldest son was placed in Miss Cass’s gifted class. Over the next several years each of our three boys were fortunate enough to have her as a teacher. From a parent’s perspective she was by far and away the most dynamic and effective teacher each of them had. She taught them academics, but also how to think and become better citizens of the world. Mary joined the staff at Richmond Hill Primary and was able to witness first hand the tremendous work that Miss Cass did in developing our community’s young people at such a critical time in their lives. Over the years we developed an “out of school” friendship with Colleen and Ken which helped enrich our lives. Many an evening was passed enjoying each other’s company and solving the problems of the world. Colleen will long be remembered for the gift that she left the world of hundreds of young men and women who went on to great success while carrying a piece of Miss Cass with them. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ken and the family in this sad time.

- Mary and Dave Pearl, Richmond Hill, Georgia

I was blessed for over 45 years to have Colleen as a friend and coworker. Words cannot expess the huge impact she had on all the lives she touched. Our school system was made better the day she came riding up in her red corvette. We should have known then she was one of a kind. Full of energy, love and dedication to her work and all the people around her. In the 70 's and until she retired, many students benefitted from our small school sytem. It resulted in them having Ms.Cassiday as their gifted teacher for many, many years. She was the only teacher of the gifted in in our quaint school made up of grades 1-12. As we grew over the years, she trained others to the program and established high expectations. Her impact is still felt today as the testimonials to her pour in from her students and all who knew her. They express their deep love and respect for her. Pray now for her husband, Ken, who has the hardship of living the days without her. He is a godly man and a dedicated husband. Continue to keep him in your prayers.

- Dahlia Hood, Richmond Hill, Georgia

I can’t begin to put into words what Colleen meant to our family. The impact she had on my girls at an early age helped them develop their love of education. I also had the privilege to work with her at RHPS. Her vibrant personality made it a happy place to work. She will be missed so much. Love to Ken and her family.

- Stephanie scofield, Richmond Hill, GA

Ken, I am so sorry for your loss of Colleen. I still remember the beautiful photo of her you kept on your desk at work. Please know that I am keeping you and family in my thoughts and prayers.

- Mary Lee Thompson, Richmond Hill, Georgia

She was instrumental to the education for my kids. She will not be forgotten.

- Daniel, Savannah, State/Province

Ken, I was saddened to read about the passing of Colleen. Linda and I are praying for you and your families.

- Gene Odom, Glennville, Ga

Ken, unbelievably saddened to hear of your loss. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

- Linda Hogue, Savannah , Georgia

Colleen was a wonderful teacher who mastered a perfect combination of high standards and FUN. We loved her. Her laugh was infectious. I remember that her only walking speed was Fast! She was a hard person to keep up with. We will be forever grateful for the valuable advice she gave to us. There will never be another Ms. Cass. Sending our sympathies to her family and all her friends.

- Lynne, Don and Greg Howe, SAVANNAH, GA

So sorry to hear about Colleen. She was a delightful person that I always enjoyed seeing. Her energy and enthusiasm were remarkable. A wonderful person to be around. My thoughts and prayers to her family.

- Tom Broderick, Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!

Ken, my heart goes out to you. She was one of God's best creations living life to the fullest. You and the family are in my prayers.

- Cynthia Powers , savannah, ga

Ken I am so sorry to hear about Colleen. I was so blessed by you when I was going through chemo and you always put a smile on my face when you came to Publix.

- Karen Franz, Iowa City, IA

Ken, I was so sad to read the news about your beautiful wife. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless!

- Jean Anderson , Rincon, GA

It was a privilege to know Colleen and work along side (maybe a few steps behind) her for many years at The Primary School. She was amazing to watch and never failed to brighten up the day for all she encountered. God bless and keep her spirit with us all.

- MaryAnn Tiedemann, Richmond Hill, GA

A candle has been lit!

My heart goes out to Colleen's husband and family. I just heard about her passing. The world has lost a bright light. I had the pleasure of knowing Coleen as the parent of two of her gifted students as well as a co-worker at RHES for many years. She was such a motivator for my children and taught them so many of life's lessons. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Love you Colleen.

- Fran Ralls, Richmond Hill, Ga

I love you Mrs. Cassiday. You were the best teacher I ever had and more importantly you were the best influence in my life. I attribute my success to the values you gave me specifically making me want to learn and love to learn. Thank you and God bless you!

- Ryan Ralls, Tampa, FL

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel