Roland Cassis

Obituary of Roland Milton Cassis

On August 24, 2023 Roland Milton Cassis passed away peacefully at home in Apollo Beach, Florida with his family by his side.


Born March 28, 1933 to Ernest and Jeanette Cassis, “Ronnie” as he was affectionately known, grew up in Jamaica, Queens with his older brother Albert. Together they enjoyed working on cars, riding their motorcycles, and listening to jazz, which would become one of Ronnie’s lifelong loves.


Keen to explore and discover the world, prior to graduation from Brooklyn Technical H.S. in 1951 Ronnie enlisted in the US Air Force. He was stationed in Guam during the Korean War and worked as a radio mechanic. He was honorably discharged as a 1st Class Airman in 1955.


His mechanical pursuits led him to RCA Institute where he received a certificate in Radio and Television Broadcasting in 1957. He also obtained a pilot’s license to fly a small single-engine Cessna aircraft. Years later, he returned to school, and in 1978 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Queens College.


Ron embarked on a career in technical writing and was employed primarily in the defense sector at Grumman, Sperry, and ultimately Unisys, in Great Neck, NY from which he retired in 1993.


In 1972 he married the love of his life, Barbara. They built a family with daughters Kimberley and Alysha and together embarked on a lifetime of adventure. They traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean in search of sun and sand. In the late 1980s, Ron and Barbara found paradise in St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies, and bought a timeshare that would become their 2nd home for over 25 years.


Ron’s love of jazz was prolific. He began playing the alto saxophone as a child and continued playing recreationally into his 60’s. He had an extensive record collection and on weekends was known to put on his current favorite, open all the house windows, and improvise along to the greats. People often thought there was a concert going on and would ask to come in and listen. He also instilled this love of music in his twin nephews Gary and Glenn and they’d frequent downtown NY jazz clubs together.


In 2002 Ron and Barbara left the city life behind them for a slower pace in Apollo Beach, Florida. There he joined the community homeowner’s association, played poker “badly” with neighborhood friends, and became an avid gym buff.


Throughout his life, humor was a constant companion. There wasn’t a soul who met him who wouldn’t describe him as a loving, affable, and kind person. He would light up a room with a witty observation, a slightly inappropriate joke, or simply something to make you laugh. Everyone has a story!


In 2015 he sadly lost Barbara, his wife of 43 years to cancer. In 2018 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. While the disease took its toll on his body his mind remained sharp and his good nature stayed intact until the end.


We will miss him greatly but take solace that he is now free to be reunited with his parents, brother Al, and his beloved Tiny Tot, Barbara. 


Ronnie is survived by his daughters Madison Spann, Kimberley Alkins, and Alysha Cassis-Shaw, son-in-law Dwayne Shaw, nephews Gary and Glenn Cassis, cousin Billy Taylor, and a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins, and good friends.


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in his honor to the:


Parkinson’s Foundation:

Suncoast Hospice Foundation:

Kittie Corral:









To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Roland Cassis, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Roland
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Sun City Funeral Home
Share Your Memory of