James Robert Cassell, 89, engineering firm founder

March 31, 2003

James Robert "Bob" Cassell, founder of a civil engineering firm in his native Baltimore, died Saturday of a cerebral hemorrhage at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga.

He was 89, and had lived in Savannah since retiring in 1979.

He was president of a civil engineering firm, Maryland Surveying and Engineering Co. Inc., which he founded in 1957. He sold the business in the mid-1960s, then became vice president of Lyon Associates Inc. in Baltimore.

A registered professional engineer in 10 states, he served as president of the Maryland Association of Engineers in 1972.

Mr. Cassell was a 1935 graduate of Polytechnic Institute, and earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1942.

He served in the Army during the latter years of World War II in the United States and in the Pacific region.

He was active with the Boy Scouts, volunteering from 1953 to 1962 as a Scoutmaster in the Baltimore area.

Mr. Cassell lived in Hamilton and later in Towson, where he was a member of Towson United Methodist Church. He also was a 32nd degree Mason, and member of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon Lodge in Baltimore.

In retirement, he enjoyed woodworking. He made and sold bear chairs and rocking lambs for children, donating proceeds to charities.

He married Ruth Hudgins in 1942. She died in 1976. Their daughter, Barbara Strozykowski, died last year.

Mr. Cassell is survived by his wife of 25 years, the former Lois R. Harris; a son, Richard H. Cassell of Baltimore; a stepson, John W. Harris of Atlanta; a stepdaughter, Margaret H. Lee of Decatur, Ga.; a sister, Rosalee Tolson of Baltimore; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. tomorrow at Isle of Hope United Methodist Church in Savannah, where he was a member.

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