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Personal News > Obituaries > In memoriam: Wilfred Cass OF 1939-1946

In memoriam: Wilfred Cass OF 1939-1946

29 Apr 2022
Written by Lexi Pepperday
Wilfred Cass
Wilfred Cass

Wilfred Cass (OF 1936-1941) has died aged 97.

He was born Wolfgang Cassirer in Berlin on November 11 1924, the son of Hans Cassirer, a Jewish industrialist who made insulation for electric cables, and his wife, Edith (née Bieber); his grandfather, Paul Cassirer, had been an art dealer and was instrumental in establishing the reputation in Germany of artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne.

The family fled to Britain in 1935, and while a pupil at Frensham Heights Wilfred started his first business, a bicycle repair company. He was apprenticed to an electrical repair business in Loughborough, did war service with the Pioneer Corps – where he changed his name to Wilfred – and took a diploma in telecommunications at Regent Street Polytechnic. 

Wilfred was chairman and chief executive of Moss Bros, guiding the menswear company through turbulent times in the late 1980s; in retirement he and his wife Jeanette founded the Cass Sculpture Foundation, which not only displayed an impressive array of works at their home in West Sussex but also funded public art, including the first three sculptures on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Cass, who devoured biographies and art books, was appointed CBE in 2006. He married Jean Forbes in 1957. That marriage didnt last and in 1983 he married Jeannette Futter. She died in 2020 and he is survived by a son and a daughter from his first marriage.

Wilfred Cass, born November 11 1924, died April 19 2022 

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