It is with heavy hearts we share the sad news that our beloved mother, Joan McNiff Cass, passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, surrounded by her family. We know how blessed we are to have had so much time to take in her beautiful smile, to hold her hand, and to tell her and show her how much we love her, over and over again. We take great comfort in knowing she has been reunited with our father, Donald T. Cass, her loving mother and father, her brothers Peter McNiff and Cyril McNiff, and her honorary brother, Peter J. Smith, as well as so many beloved family and friends who have gone before her. We are certain the dancing has already started.
We want the Irish Dancing Community to know how much Joan loved Irish Dancing and loved each of you. She loved everyone who was a part of the Irish dancing family from her students through the years, parents, fellow teachers, and musicians. Irish Dancing was a significant part of her life since the time when she was a young person. It was weaved into the fabric of the McNiff family and something she bestowed upon us. Irish Dancing has allowed Joan to develop hundreds of treasured friendships through the years.
Joan was a woman of grace, strength, and strong faith. On Saturday, with Joan, we watched the livestream of the World Competition Men Over 21. We marveled at the level of dancing and perfection of the competitors. Recently, an old friend commented, “Throughout her life, Joan had a lot on her plate, but she made it look effortless”. We can’t help but make the connection to what impressed Joan in a dancer - “effortless” was often the comment after a great dancer performed. Joan knew the hard work that went into anything that appeared effortless. She understood the disappointments that came in life as well. But she truly believed in God’s goodness and how important it is to get up each day, get dressed, look your best, put on a smile, pull your shoulders back and put your best foot forward.
Arrangements to follow. All are Welcome. We would love to hear all the stories and memories from over the years as we celebrate her incredible life. It’s what Joan would love too.
With Love – Anne, Joanie, Eileen, and Elizabeth