Jacob Brian Cassell

Jacob Brian Cassell (aka, “Jake”) was born with autism and other special needs which attempted to limit and define him, but instead, he overcame them all. He lived his life spreading endless amounts of joy, love and affection to everyone who had the privilege of meeting him. Jake taught us to love greater, to be kind and considerate to everyone and to look at this world with wide eyes full of wonder and excitement. He became a role model for other kids within the Bethesda, MD special needs community in dancing, theatre, bocci ball, softball, and other endeavors as well as those with special needs in Rockbridge County, VA where he served as a volunteer with the Arc of Rockbridge for three summers.

Jake’s happiness was infectious, and he spread cheer everywhere he went, especially on the sidelines of Churchill High School, where he served as mascot.  Despite his special needs, Jake exhibited an unusual joy and happiness from an early age. He was enormously sweet and empathic, an attribute that became a defining characteristic as he continued to develop. Jake consistently attended The Rock Youth Ministry at the Montgomery County, MD Campus of McLean Bible Church and his love for God and enthusiasm for worship defined him as a young man.

Jake had a huge heart for serving others, which manifested itself in two mission trips in 2019, the first to Honduras with his mother and grandmother in support of their non-profit, Project Honduran Child, and the second in July in the Dominican Republic with McLean Bible Church. Jake spent a week in Honduras in January, obtaining and preparing backpacks full of school supplies and distributing those and school uniforms to over 140 kids in 5 mountain villages so that they could attend school. While in the Dominican Republic, Jake helped lead a Vacation Bible School for young kids, worshiping and sharing the Gospel with many.

Jake was an active participant in Boy Scouts of America and had advanced to the rank of Life, just one rank shy of Eagle Scout, and was just shy of completing all of his requirements for his Eagle Scout badge when he lost his life.

Jacob Brian Cassell was tragically struck by a vehicle after falling off his bicycle on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, MD on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019.


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