Joao Rui Cassama, 65, of Cambridge Massachusetts, died Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 at Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Center in Boston, after suffering from cardiac arrest in his home and being rushed to the ICU on Sunday July 14th 2019.
Rui leaves his wife of 27 years of marriage, Maria Leon Cassama; his eldest daughter, Nelia Carrington Cassama; his daughter Teresa Carrington-Dick; his daughter, Karin Camara, his daughter Jennifer Brito Cassama; his only son, Dwayne Leon Cassama; his youngest daughter, Joann Nicole Leon Cassama, 8 grandchildren and many close friends to cherish his memory.
Born April 22nd 1954 in West African country, Guinea-Bissau, to father Arafan Cassama and mother, Rui moved to Portugal at the age of 14 to attend a catholic boarding school in Ponte Lima, Portugal. He then attended the Technical University of Lisbon focusing on engineering. In 1974, during the Portuguese Revolution that took down the Portuguese dictatorship, Rui was among students whom were actively opposing to the Portuguese colonization of African colonies.
After the independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, Joao later moved from Portugal to Cape Verde by 1980 to be a professor. Rui immigrated to the United States in 1982 and furthered his education by receiving his BA in Political Science with a minor in History at Rhode Island College, and his MA in Intercultural Relations at Lesley University. He later received his MA in Administration and Management at Harvard University. For 15 years, Rui worked for the Cambridge Housing Authority. Rui had a passion for helping people in need and helping his community progress. He assisted people in obtaining US citizenship, taught and mentored individuals of the politics of his country, guided those who needed assistance with housing, and worked at a shelter in Dorchester. Rui was predeceased by father Arafan Cassama and grandmother Nasirem Cassama.
Rui loved life and guiding those through it despite the hardships of his health. He carried his name proud and made sure to instill the same pride in his children. Rui leaves behind a grand legacy that will be carried and honored through the generations of Cassamas to come.