Cassie Owens, a 22-year-old Craig woman and 2003 Moffat County High School graduate, died Saturday morning. Owens, a featured speaker at the Craig Relay for Life event, was diagnosed with cancer in December 2006. Her funeral is Wednesday at First Christian Church.

Courtesy Photo

Cassie Owens, a 22-year-old Craig woman and 2003 Moffat County High School graduate, died Saturday morning. Owens, a featured speaker at the Craig Relay for Life event, was diagnosed with cancer in December 2006. Her funeral is Wednesday at First Christian Church.

Brave to the end

Faith comforts Craig woman, family in difficult hours

Arrangements:

A funeral for Cassie Owens, a 22-year-old Craig woman and 2003 Moffat County High School graduate, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Christian Church, 960 W. Victory Way.

Viewing will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Grant Mortuary, 621 Yampa Ave.

The public is invited to attend.

photo

Courtesy Photo

Cassie Owens, a 22-year-old Craig woman and 2003 Moffat County High School graduate, died Saturday morning. Owens, a featured speaker at the Craig Relay for Life event, was diagnosed with cancer in December 2006. Her funeral is Wednesday at First Christian Church.

— The machine, or "pain pump," that had helped Cassie Owens manage what had grown into an unmanageable, cancerous tumor proved unnecessary Friday night at her home in Craig.

An unflinching belief in God, and a comfort in knowing her final destination, eradicated what the science of man could not.

Cassie, a 22-year-old Craig woman and 2003 graduate of Moffat County High School, died early Saturday morning. Friends and family describe her as a beautiful, intelligent, warm woman who, in the face of grim odds, chose bravery instead of fear.

She never lost her positive attitude, and the vibrant smile she showed throughout her life didn't abandon her in her final hours, they said.

"She was saying she had to go, she needed to go," Cassie's mother, Cyndee Owens said. "We told her, 'Go ahead and go. We'll catch up with you later on.'"

It comes as a comfort to her family that they - parents Ray and Cyndee, and brothers, Caleb and Chayton - were nearby as she left this world. The words offered by family friend Joan Hillewaert, who told the young woman that she'd soon hold audience with her savior, Jesus, also were greeted with joy.

"Cassie had a big smile on her face, and said yes," Cyndee said. "She never lost her good thoughts, and she had a really great smile.

"I know she's in heaven. When you're not in your body, you're with the Lord. I believe that, and so did she."

Cassie was diagnosed with cancer in December 2006 after doctors found a tumor on her liver.

A July trip to the Mayo Clinic, an internationally renowned hospital and medical school in Rochester, Minn., revealed that the cancer had hit "really hard and fast," Cyndee said, and that little could be done to treat the disease.

Cassie's final weeks were made easier by the excellent care she received at the hands of hospice nurses, her family said.

Although stricken with a terrible disease, Cassie felt hopeful for the future.

"She was really convinced she was going to beat it, that this was going to be a blip in the road and that she was going to move on with her life," her mother said.

It was the same message of hope Cassie delivered earlier this summer when she spoke to the crowd during the Craig Relay for Life event, a fundraiser on behalf of the American Cancer Society.

Helped to the podium by family, Cassie inspired on-lookers, one of which said the speech served as a worthy reminder of "why we fundraise, so that we have an opportunity to find a cure for people like Cassie."

Funeral services for Cassie will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Christian Church. A viewing is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Grant Mortuary. The public is invited to attend.

Cassie, a Montana State University student for two years, was interrupted in her studies by the cancer and fell just short of receiving her communication's degree. In her name, the family will soon establish a memorial scholarship fund. Donations to the fund may be made in care of the Bank of Colorado.

Although Cassie's passing wasn't unexpected, her family and friends understandably mourn her. They said they were prepared for the end, but "you can never be that prepared."

Still, the sting they feel today is tempered by knowing their loved one rests in a far better place than they world she left behind.

"She's doing fine," Cyndee said. "It's the rest of us who are having a little trouble."

Comments

honualoalo 6 years, 7 months ago

Cassie was an amazing person, It is hard to see such a lovely, caring and strong woman pass in such a way. But her strength inspires me and will for years and years to come. My prayers are with the family and friends.

Fellow Classmate- Morgan

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kimschulze 6 years, 7 months ago

Cass-a-Frass I'm really going to miss you! Your smile, your strength, your courge, your possitive outlook on every thing! Your sense of humor! You were truly an amazing person! I love how you would lite up a room when you walked in! I loved how you would keep us ALL on our toes when we played cards! I know where you get all that, from your Mom and Dad! They have been truly amazing through all of this! I know it wasn't easy for them, but your Mom's strenght and faith and courge I will never forget! She too, is truly an amazing woman! I know I will see you again in heaven! Until we meet again..... I will ALWAYS love you! Aunt Kim

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Neal Harkner 6 years, 7 months ago

My thoughts and prayers are with Cassie's family and friends. Cancer is a ruthless scourge that attacks us all regardless of age, race, gender, or health. To be struck down at such a young age is extremely tragic and sorrowful.

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ruger516 6 years, 7 months ago

Some of my best memories of Cassie were made during the time we spent working together out at the mini golf course. We had a lot of down time in the middle of the day and she always found ways of keeping busy and making it fun. Even if it meant just playing a game of cards, or a quick round of golf. She was great at making up new drinks. She made one that had a scoop of every topping we had, plus vanilla ice cream, bananas, and rainbow sherbert. It was actully really good! But, unfortuantely, it never made the menu. And we would always watch Everybody Loves Raymond at 6:00 if we didn't have customers. She's the one who got me hooked on that show. She even started a water fight with the dish sponge one night as we were closing up. I will never forget that! Rarely did she come to work without a smile on her face, or bright colored clothing :) She was just a bright person all around. I loved listening to her speak and tell stories. Even the simplest stories were funny and interesting when she told them. I am deeply saddened that this happened to Cassie, and to her family. But she is in a much better place now... smiling and laughing, free of pain. I look forward to the day I can see her again, and I can tell her myself, that she truly is the bravest person I have ever known.

All my love, Tiffany

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