Jeffrey Jan Kassel, age 67, passed away from pancreatic cancer on Monday, August 13, 2018, at his home in Madison, Wis. He was born on February 4, 1951, in Baltimore, Md., the son of Leon and Gazelle (Max) Kassel. Jeff is survived by beloved son, Eli, and daughter-in-law, Donnay of Tampa, Florida; sister, Laurie and her husband, Bob and son, Adam of Raymond, Maine; brother, David of Orlando, Fla.; brother, Dan and his wife, Andrea and children, Ryan and Ella of Severna Park, Md.; and fiancé, Lynn Silverman and her children, Ben and Johannah. Jeff is preceded in death by his parents, Leon and Gazelle. A great joy in Jeff’s life was the love he so recently found and shared with Lynn Silverman, his fiancé. Their plans for an August wedding were tragically cut short by the progression of his illness. After completing a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Jeff received his JD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During his private practice work, he received the 1998 Civil Libertarian of the Year Award from the Wisconsin ACLU. Jeff went on to a career of almost 20 years as an assistant attorney general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice. He was highly respected by his colleagues, who greatly appreciated his intellect, generosity, and sense of humor.

Everyone who knew Jeff, both personally and professionally, was taken by his warmth, kindness and thoughtfulness. Even when faced with his recent health challenges, his heart remained open to others and their needs. Jeff made this world a richer place in many ways: through his keen insights, his beautiful flower gardens, his passion for music and guitars, and most of all, for his abundant affection and love for family, friends and his dog, Jake.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 17, 2018, at Cress Funeral and Cremation Service, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, WI 53705. Burial to follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will sit Shiva on Saturday, August 18, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m. and recite Yizkor at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ACLU of Wisconsin or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here