Cassio began her hundred-year journey in Lille – a tiny town on the border with Canada in northern Maine. She grew up in a railroad family with her eleven brothers and sisters. Her father was employed by the Bangor and Aroostook railroad, maintaining a section of the northern rail system for 37 years. When asked if her dad ever took her on the trains she replied with a smile “Oh yes – I got to ride for free!”
Janet stayed in Lille until age 19, and after a brief stint in Massachusetts she settled in to West Enfield. She married her husband Charles in 1935, and the two of them raised six children. Charles was a long time employee of Great Northern Paper Company, and also sold fish on the side.
In addition to raising her children, Janet worked outside the home to help support the family. She worked for the West Enfield school lunch program for 19 years, and also worked as a seamstress. “She would hem, alter, or create new garments – whatever people needed” said her daughter.
Charles passed away in 1983 after 48 years of marriage, but Janet’s family has continued to grow. Her six children, who travelled from other parts of Maine, Michigan, and North Carolina to come celebrate their mom’s birthday, have families of their own. In all Janet has 18 grand children and 16 great grand children as part of her legacy.