Benjamin Buckles Cassiday, Jr.
Benjamin Buckles Cassiday, Jr., 95, passed away peacefully at his home in Niu Valley on Sept. 21, 2017. Ben was born in Honolulu on July 25, 1922, the son of Col. Benjamin Buckles Cassiday and Harriet Lucas Cassiday. Ben received his early schooling at Punahou and graduated from Culver Military Academy, Ind. in 1940 as Regimental Commander. He went on to the West Point, graduating in 1943, where he earned his pilot wings and commission as a 2nd lieutenant. Ben and his former wife, Barbara Dennison from Honolulu married in 1949, and had 3 beautiful children. Ben went on to have an honored military career in the United States Air Force. He was a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours, including more than 290 combat hours. Highlights of his career included being a World War II fighter pilot in France and Italy, an exchange pilot with the US Navy in 1950, the 1st Commander of Cadets at the US Air Force Academy in 1955, and Commandant of Air Force ROTC in 1972. His decorations and awards included the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier's Medal, Air Medal, 2 Navy Gold Stars, Presidential Unit Citation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy Outstanding Service Medal, and the British Distinguished Flying Cross. He retired as a Brigadier General in November 1972. Upon retirement, he returned to his beloved Hawaiian Islands. In 1983, Ben married Suzanne Baldwin from Honolulu. They traveled the world and doted on their families. Suzie died peacefully on March 2002. Ben was past chairman of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, past president of the Outrigger Canoe Club, past board member of the Pacific Air Museum, past trustee of the Falcon Foundation, honorary member of the American Fighter Aces Assoc., past member of the Rod & Gun Club and an active member of the Quiet Birdmen. Ben was not only known for his athleticism in the air as a fighter pilot, but also on the ground. He competed in the 1948 Olympic trials in the 400 meter hurdles, ran in the Penn Relays, and was an avid skier. Most important to Ben were his friends and family. He will be remembered for being a loyal, caring and generous friend. Ben was a true gentleman. He was the best father and grandfather any child could ask for. He spent all holidays, birthdays, and free time traveling the country to be with his family. Whether it was cheering for his kids and grandkids on the field, skiing with them or teaching them their ABC's, Ben was always there. They were all blessed to have had Ben in their lives, there are no words that can do him justice. Ben is survived by his daughter Carol Orr of Washington, DC, her husband Steve, his grandchildren, Stephen Jr., Casey and CJ, his great grandchildren, Benjamin and Grace, his step-daughters Christy Foytich and her husband Dick, Nancy Arnott and her husband Tom and Gail Alger and her husband Doug, his step- grandchildren Heather, Lauren, Megan, Alicia, Parker, Lani and Duncan, his 5 great step-grandchildren, Malia, Kalia, Harper, Kaitlyn and Eli, his brother Paul, his nephew, nieces and cousin, his former wife Barbara, and many, many friends including Harriet Wedeman. Waiting for him in heaven and at the "pool" in Niu are his beloved sons Jimmy and Ben, III - "Trip", and his wife Suzie. A service will be held on Friday, September 29, 1:30pm at the family home, 5621 Kalanianaole Highway. Please park across the street on W. Halemaumau Street. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Pacific Air Museum Pearl Harbor. www.pacificaviationmuseum.org. denoting i/m/o Gen. Ben Cassiday.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased