Margaret Dorothy Kassner

June 05, 1948 - February 23, 2021

Margaret Dorothy Kassner

June 05, 1948 - February 23, 2021


Margaret Kassner, age 72, passed away on February 23, 2021.

The eldest of four children, Margaret was born in New York City on June 5, 1948, to Ernest Kassner, a career Army officer, and Clara Christa, a native of Munich, Germany.  An “Army brat,” Margaret lived in Japan and Germany as well as on Army bases throughout the United States before settling in southern California, where she attended Redlands High School and the University of California, San Diego.

She met her future husband, Mark Kennedy, in 1976 at Cornell University, where they both attended graduate school in History.  Margaret and Mark married in London in 1979.

Margaret worked for over two decades in health insurance, becoming a vice president at both Aetna and CIGNA International and Head of Underwriting at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

After retiring, Margaret turned to her passion, gardening, by launching her own landscaping business and becoming a Master Gardener in Connecticut.

Margaret fell in love with the Pacific Northwest during visits to the Olympic National Forest, and in 2013 she and Mark moved to Bellingham.  In addition to restoring the garden of their new home, Margaret became a Master Gardener in Washington state and a member of the Whatcom County Master Gardener Program.

Margaret is survived by Mark Kennedy, her husband of 41 years; her brother Michael Kassner and his wife Kelley Nichols; her sister-in-law Mary Ann Kennedy and her husband Richard Dietrich; her brothers-in-law Patrick Kennedy and his wife Mary Elizabeth Swope and Giles Kennedy; her nieces and nephews Claire Kennedy Dietrich and her partner Reuben Olivares Whitaker, Calum Kennedy Dietrich and his fiancée Naomi Clothier, Peter Jackson, and Lucy Jackson; her cousin Ellen Teitelbaum and her children Daniel, Allison, and Evan; and her aunt Trudy Carlisle and her grandchildren Taylor and Tara.

Margaret was predeceased by her mother and father, her twin sisters Claudia and Laura, and her cousins Adrian and Diane.

The happiest time of her life was the four years she and Mark lived in Scotland, where she was able to be with Claire and Calum as they grew up.

Margaret was a lover of Celtic music, ballet and dance, and cinema.  We will remember her most of all for her radiant smile as well her intelligence and passion.

We wish to thank Jaimee Shaw, Smarrjeet Mander, and Roslyn Cozad, whose tender care of Margaret enabled her to remain home during her last illness.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Margaret’s name to the Bellingham Food Bank at, or via check made out to the Bellingham Food Bank and mailed to 1824 Ellis St. Bellingham, WA 98225.

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3 responses to Margaret Dorothy Kassner

  1. Mark, I am so, so sorry to learn that Margaret had been so unwell and has passed away. I will always cherish her smile, talks of gardens, Scotland and Scotch (and especially the Scotch!). I just can’t imagine not talking to her again. Our deepest sympathy.

  2. I know I’ve already shared memories of Margaret with you, Mark, but it’s nice to put some of them in writing, as well. Being partners with Margaret in taking care of Trudy’s affairs gave me the opportunity to get to know her better and see how conscientious and thoughtful she was! Not only did she work very hard to get all the financial and legal details right, but she took care of some of Trudy’s personal and medical needs, as well (after thorough research, of course!). She would often send flowers, arranged delivery of a birthday cake one year, and my favorite–sending a miniature Christmas tree in a pot, complete with lights and decorations!! This was something that Trudy could enjoy all through the holiday season! And she gave all these gifts knowing that Trudy would not remember who
    sent them. I reminded you of her making a special trip from Scotland to attend Daniel’s bar mitzvah! And my family enjoyed spending Thanksgiving with the two of you for many years while you lived on the East coast! (You became the “turkey man”). Will miss my “partner” and all her sensible advice and generosity!! With love and sympathy.

  3. Margaret Sasu.
    My heartfelt condolences Mr Mark. Thank you for the calls and also giving me the chance to let Margaret know how much l did appreciated her. she was such a loving
    and kind hearted person so easy to talk to. I can not believed my friend is gone.
    I miss you Margaret, may your gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Sleep well

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