Photo by Kraig Grayson
A Martin County icon passed away a fortnight ago and it was as appropriate as she always was during her 97 years. By appropriate I mean she was always ready for the occasion both in manner and personality. Nothing out of order or left undone. Always played an integral part in whatever she did in the community. She was the very definition of class in a sometimes crazy Martin County.
In all ways she was a loyal and loving friend to her peers and a most beloved figure in the classroom at Inez Elementary where she taught 5th grade and made lifelong friends of her students. Barb was fun and the kids recognized it and worshipped her because of it.
And I did, too.
Often visiting her home for advice and consultation, she and her husband, Holmes, were lifesavers in my early years of teaching and well beyond.
I have a photo of Barb and Holmes and T.J. and Lucille Hardin, Kelly Callaham (older version) Mick Burke, my mom and dad, Jimmy and Evelyn Grayson and others during the groundbreaking of the Inez First Baptist Church back in the 1950’s that I gave to Evelyn Cassady at the Historical Society. It shows just how far back our friendship goes.
One time when we moved to Wake Forest, N.C. so my dad could attend Seminary, Holmes and Barb stopped by on their way south on vacation. It was so great to see someone from ‘back home’ especially them.
Because of that move to N.C., I didn’t get to have Barb for my 5th grade year. But, both Kraigo and Kara Beth got to enjoy her teaching as well as my sister, Jama, and other members of the Graysons.
Because of all this and much more Barb Cassady will long have a light shining, actually thousands of them, in the form of her students and their families. That’s what teaching is all about.
Barb Cassady will long be remembered in Inez and wherever someone can still say, “She was my fifth grade teacher” …with a great big smile.
Obituary for Barbara Cassady
Barbara Cassady 97, of Inez, Kentucky passed away in January 3, 2024 at the Lower Cape Fear Life Center in Wilmington, NC. She was born in Pike County, KY on December 20, 1926 to the late Robert Nichols and Nancy McCoy Nichols. Barbara was a retired school teacher for the Martin County Board of Education.
There will be a small graveside service held on Saturday, January 13th at 12:00pm at the Saltwell Cemetery in Inez, KY. A celebration of life will be held in the spring; date and location will be announced at a later time.