Life Story Visitation
Saturday, August 13, 2022
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Please join us for a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
Casual attire is appropriate.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Marney Cassiday lived her life to the fullest. She truly had a heart of gold that she graciously and generously shared with others. Nothing brought her greater happiness than spending time with her family and enormous friend network. Positive, energetic, and outgoing she had a zest for life and loved spending time with family and friends. Gone from us too soon, may the many wonderful memories that she made remain in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
On March 4, 1973 nowhere was there greater joy than in the home of Daniel and Kristi (Turk) Vartanian as they welcomed their newborn baby girl, Marney Jo. She was the most beautiful baby girl with her dad’s olive complexion, captivating dark eyes, and her precious curls. She clearly inherited the best of both parents’ personalities. She grew up in DeWitt and was a tomboy at a young age. She loved playing outside, riding her bike and always had a tool belt or holster around her waist. At one point Marney even asked to be called Tim, and would ask her mom to make an extra sandwich at lunch for her imaginary friend. Marney’s vibrant personality was apparent at an early age. She was a competitor, thrill seeker, and adventurer who loved sports and amusement parks. She was the only girl on an all-boys soccer team. She played basketball, soccer, softball, floor hockey, and was also an avid downhill skier.
From a young age, she had remarkably strong relationships with her parents and brother, Nick. She spent much of her childhood making special memories with them. She also loved special times with her cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and spent many summers in Harbor Springs with her extended family. Some of the family traditions she loved most included annual spring break trips to Florida, camping trips in the northern Michigan woods, summer trips to Cedar Point, and Christmas Eve celebrations. The bond Marney had with her beloved family was strong and she maintained these close relationships throughout her life.
After graduating from Dewitt High School with the class of 1991, Marney attended Michigan State University. While in college, she built incredible friendships that she maintained throughout her life. She developed Hodgkin’s Lymphoma during her college years and with the exception of some of her closest friends, she rarely sought support during the battle she eventually won. Despite the rigorous treatments, she maintained her optimistic and energetic personality the entire time. Graduating from Michigan State, with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, was a proud milestone in her life, especially considering the health challenges she faced while pursuing her degree.
Seeking adventure, Marney moved to Chicago after graduation. She loved the city life and took advantage of all it had to offer. She loved to take runs along the lake, play beach volleyball, gather at the Gin Mill to watch MSU football, and head out to breakfast after long nights out. Marney’s outgoing personality quickly made her friends. Within a short amount of time, Marney built up her “city family” as a tight-knit group of new and old friends that to this day remain very close, mostly due to Marney. She was the “glue” of her Chicago friends and kept them close, always finding a reason for a get together.
Marney and Jason met right after she moved to Chicago. Dancing the night away with her girlfriends had been her plan, but running into Jason that night changed it all. That night, both Marney and Jason knew they had met someone special. Jason was living in Midland, and for more than four years he traveled to spend time with her each weekend. He eventually needed more than just weekends, and moved into the city to be with Marney. Living in Wrigleyville, they had the time of their lives. They were engaged on the water overlooking the city they had come to love. They took every opportunity to travel together and enjoy life, creating countless memories that spur laughter and joy as they are remembered.
Happily married for over 20 years, Marney and Jason were lucky to raise two wonderful children: Will and Alli. When they moved back to Michigan, Marney decided to stay home with her children. She loved watching them play sports and never missed a school function or sporting event. As a mother, Marney wanted nothing more than for her kids to be happy. She went all out for special occasions and loved the traditions and celebrations of Christmas and Halloween. She always encouraged her children to develop and grow, and set high standards for them. Marney taught them the value of not taking life too seriously and the importance of building meaningful relationships. Her children knew their mom was their fiercest supporter and they will always remember her gift for creating moments that make memories!
While raising her family in a new city, she once again developed extraordinary bonds with new friends throughout the community. Marney effortlessly maintained deep and meaningful bonds with so many. From personal evenings with her closest friends to large gatherings of acquaintances, she made those around her feel like the most important person in the room.
Marney had all of the qualities of a wonderful friend: a great listener, a kind heart, infectious laugh, and was fiercely loyal. These qualities made her friends with everyone she met. With a devilish sense of humor, she was always the life of the party. As much as she was easy to be around, she was equally private. She was skillful in discretion and held the secrets of others close. Because she was so accepting, understanding, and real, she was someone her friends would seek out for advice and support. Marney was a force to be reckoned with. She was highly spirited and so positive.
When it came to special interests, Marney enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. She loved just hanging out with friends and family. She also loved lounging poolside or at the beach, soaking up the sun. Their first and only pet Cash, a Red Fox Lab, held a special place in her heart. An exceptional storyteller, Marney had a knack for recalling events and special moments that she shared with others, which certainly helped in forming such deep-rooted relationships. Her gentle way made others feel special in her presence and put them at ease. As a result, even her friends’ children were molded by her influence. There was truly never a dull moment when she was around.
Marney was a loving person who spent her life supporting others. Her gifts of generosity and wonderful sense of humor will be dearly missed. May her loved ones always remember the joy she brought to every gathering, and may they continue to feel her love whenever they are together. May Jason, Will, and Alli find comfort in knowing that she loved them beyond measure. Marney left a legacy of amazing memories, a belief that you treat everyone with kindness and respect, and that you never sweat the small stuff. She was simply the glue of countless groups of incredible friends and will be missed so much by all of them.
Marney Cassiday, age 49, of Portage died on July 31, 2022. Surviving are her husband, Jason; children: Will and Alli; her parents, Dan and Kristi; her brother, Nick (Kathy) Vartanian; nephews: Grayson, Blake, and Kai; in-laws, Richard and Sandra Cassiday; and sister in-law, Stephanie (Jim) Krueger. Please join us in casual attire at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Saturday, August 13, from 5-8pm at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. Visit Marney’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and to sign her guestbook. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.