By Josh Smith
The Revd Canon Dr Joe Cassidy, the Principal of St Chad’s College, has passed away.
Dr Cassidy had a heart attack on Friday 20th March and was discharged from hospital on Monday 23rd March. He appeared to be making a good recovery before suddenly passing away yesterday morning, Saturday 28th March.
Margaret Masson, Gary Cox and Ashley Wilson, College Officers at St Chad’s, informed students of Dr Cassidy’s death on St Chad’s Facebook page.
They described Dr Cassidy as a “remarkable Principal” and offered their sincerest condolences to his family:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with them in the loss of their deeply loved husband and father.”
Dr Cassidy was a lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion and had been Principal of St. Chad’s for 18 years. He was also a Canon of Durham Cathedral from 2001.
If you ask Chad’s students and alumni what they will remember ‘Papa Joe’ for, you will hear a lot about his humane wisdom, his personal warmth, his quick-witted love of repartee and his intellectual liveliness.”
Philip Whitehead, who was Senior Man of St Chad’s College until March 2015, told Palatinate: “At the moment, the whole college is in shock and I think we would all appreciate a couple of days to digest what has happened. Always thoughtful, sensitive and kind, and a very fine Principal to St Chad’s College.”
Dean of Durham and the Rector of St Chad’s, the Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, paid his respects in a blog post: “His prodigious energy (‘always in the fast lane’, someone said of him), his practicality, his capacity to solve problems, his sheer appetite for hard work were all important aspects of his leadership of St Chad’s.
“But most important, I think, were his personal and spiritual qualities. If you ask Chad’s students and alumni what they will remember ‘Papa Joe’ for, you will hear a lot about his humane wisdom, his personal warmth, his quick-witted love of repartee and his intellectual liveliness.”
Photograph: Durham University