Sara Hodge Cassel

12/17/1943 - 05/22/2023


Obituary For Sara Hodge Cassel

Sara Hodge (McDanald) Cassel, age 79, of Raber, Michigan, died at the Pennington Home in Pickford, Michigan, on May 22, 2023. She was born in Miami, Florida, on December 17, 1943, to Robert Morton and Allie Mae (Kitchens) McDanald.

Sara grew up in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, not far from the famous Parrot Jungle; where birds from the sanctuary often visited the trees around her house. She graduated from the Ransom Everglades School, and attended the University of Miami, until moving to Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, Tom Cassel, where their two children were born. They lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and then moved to Michigan, ultimately settling in Huntington Woods to raise their children, just a 15 minute walk to the Detroit Zoo.

At the age of 16, Sara attended a dance camp in Connecticut, which was for many years her passion, and along with teaching pre-school when arriving in Michigan, she became director of that summer camp for over 10 years, introducing hundreds of children to the Noyes School of Rhythm technique. Her property in Raber was purchased in 1984, and in 1987, she moved to Raber full time, where she lived out her retirement.

Sara was a member of the Jewish National Fund.

Sara was a free spirit and was a very considerate person. She loved dancing, chatting with everyone, driving her tractor and brush hogging trails for animals. She spent her life close to nature and was a VIP at the Pickford Feed Service, feeding all animals in a 100 mile radius!

Sara is survived by her daughter, Liana Cassel of New York, New York, sister-in-law, Laurie Cassel and wife Veronica Cahill of Woodstock, New York; and her play-pen partner and heart sister, Roberta Montgomery of Deland, Florida.

Sara was preceded in death by her son, Adam Cassel; and parents, Robert and Allie.

Final resting place is at North Raber Cemetery in Goetzville, Michigan.

Memorial Contributions in her memory may be sent to Hospice of the EUP, 308 W 12th Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, Pennington Home, 665 S Pleasant St, Pickford, MI 49774, or any one of the 50+ charities and organizations she supported on behalf of animal rights and nature conservation; you can pick any one you care about, chances are she cared about it too!

Galer Funeral Homes & Cremation of Pickford, Michigan, is serving the family. Condolences may be left to the family at

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