Christopher Cassel
Christopher Cassel
Christopher Cassel
Christopher Cassel
Christopher Cassel
Christopher Cassel

Obituary of Christopher Douglas Cassel

Christopher (Chris) Douglas Cassel passed away suddenly after a tragic accident on May 7th, 2023 at the age of 29. Chris was born in Santa Cruz, California on August 31, 1993, to his parents Debbie and James (Jimmy) Cassel. Chris was the youngest with two older brothers, Ryan Dinatale, and Eric Cassel.

Chris graduated from Santa Cruz High School Class of 2011 with honors and played on the football team. After High School, he studied Structural Engineering at Cabrillo College. In 2017 Chris married Anabel Cuevas. The couple welcomed their biggest blessing, James, on August 2nd, 2018. Even though Anabel and Chris eventually separated they both made sure James always knew how loved he was.


Chris had many hobbies like golfing, disc golfing, and snowboarding in Tahoe, but his favorite was fishing. Chris would stop whatever he was doing for a good fishing trip.


While Chris loved fishing, his son James was the true love of his life. The day he became a daddy was the proudest moment of his life. Though the past year of Chris’s life was a very lost and hard one, there was never any doubt about how much he loved his son. James will forever be his greatest gift.


Chris was loved by everyone he met. He had a kind spirit and a loving soul. He never said a mean thing about anyone and tried to find the positive in every situation. His mom and he would frequently have mother/ son dates around Santa Cruz trying to find the best new spots in town. On their lunch dates, they would catch up on life, the highs and lows of this world, and always James. Those conversations with Chris will forever be etched into Debbie’s heart until she sees her son again.


 Chris touched many lives. He was a friend to all and took the time to notice the small things in life that matter the most. His life was cut too short here on Earth but in those 29 years, he was beloved by so many. Only God knows why bad things happen and we must trust in his plan and that beauty can always come from ashes. The last couple of years have not been easy on Chris, please use his story as a reminder to check in on your loved ones when they are struggling. Pray for those around you, always find forgiveness and be LOVE to everyone you meet even when it’s hard. Chris is finally at peace with his heavenly father and earthly father up in heaven.


Chris is survived by His Mother Deborah Cassel, ex-wife Anabel Cassel (Cuevas), and his son James Thomas Cassel. Brothers: Ryan Dinatale and Eric Cassel, Makayla Dinatale, niece, Emily Dinatale niece, Carter Cassel nephew, Ex-Girlfriend Sarah Lew, many unnamed aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends. Christopher is predeceased by his father James Walter Cassel, Grandparents Tom and Mildred Brewster, Edward and Mary Cassel


Until we see him again in Heaven please use Chris’s life as a reminder to make the most out of every day and never miss a moment to tell the people in your life you love them.


"I love you, Daddy, I can't wait to grow up to be an angel to be able to visit you in heaven."-James Thomas Cassel



Benito and Azzaro Funeral Home in Santa Cruz will be hosting a service at 5:30 pm on Thursday,

May 18th, 2023. There will be a celebration of life in the next few months (TBA).



If you would like to make a donation to funeral expenses and James college fund you can do so by using GoFundMe or directly to Debbie’s Venmo account @Debbie-Cassel. 



Please also post memories, condolences, photos, and/or videos of Chris on this website. We will be making books of memories for James where we will memorialize loving comments, and photos so he can learn about all who his father impacted. Your comments will be invaluable to James as he grows and wants to learn more about his amazing father.


Funeral Service

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel, Santa Cruz, CA
1050 Cayuga Street Santa
Cruz, California, United States
(831) 423-5721