PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh resident Dianna Seymour did not know Wayne and Ann Marie Cashman long, but she was shocked to tears after learning of their deaths.
“She was a beautiful person,” said Seymour, who knew Mrs. Cashman and her husband from the North Country Classics Car Club. “She was kind. She was hell of a cook. She was very active in our group.
“I loved her dearly.”
Seymour last saw the couple a week ago, when the club met at her Military Turnpike residence.
“We visit and eat, and she was always there,” Seymour said.
She and her husband, Jerry, learned of the murder-suicide Monday afternoon from a friend.
Police say Mr. Cashman shot and killed his wife at their City of Plattsburgh home, then died by suicide early Monday morning.
“They seemed to be a fine couple, you know,” Seymour said.
“They had a daughter and a couple of little granddaughters she totally adored. She lived and breathed for those granddaughters.”
Mrs. Cashman’s Facebook page demonstrates that, with numerous images of two golden-haired, smiling girls.
Seymour was unsure what the club would do in the wake of the tragic news.
“We will do something,” she said. “I don’t know what ... probably go to the funeral together.”
The group was meeting Monday night, she said, but it wouldn’t be cars on the agenda.
“It will be for them,” she said.
The Cashmans owned a 1937 Ford and 1937 Chevy pickup.
“They were very distinct because they were orange,” Seymour said. “They had this thing for orange. When they would go to a meet, they had orange shirts on.
“They became totally involved.”
Mr. Cashman, she said, was “very handy. He remodeled all their homes and did stuff like that.”
Mrs. Cashman was always a homemaker, as far as Seymour knew.
“My brain isn’t working so well,” she said. “I’m in shock over the whole thing.”
City of Plattsburgh Ward 1 Councilor Rachelle Armstrong lived around the corner from the Cashmans.
She saw the police investigating Monday morning when she went to pick up her grandchildren.
“I was very concerned when I saw the yellow tape,” Armstrong said. “You don’t have a good feeling when you see that.
“This is just devastating.”
Mr. Cashman served on the Lake Country Village Homeowners Association Board of Directors, as does Armstrong.
“He was just a very nice man and a very generous man,” she said.
“If anything needed to be fixed at the little park we have for the kids, he would take it upon himself to make the repairs.”
Armstrong said Mr. Cashman was quiet but always cordial.
“This is the kind of thing that makes you realize how little you know about people’s lives,” she said.
“This kind of thing will absolutely rock our neighborhood.”
‘DIRECT AND HONEST’
Former Clinton County Legislator Sam Trombley of Ellenburg knew Mr. Cashman, also an Ellenburg native, well.
Mr. Cashman was director of the Windy Acres and Breezy Acres senior-housing units in Ellenburg for several years.
And he was always working on something, Trombley said.
“He was a top-notch carpenter and just a super individual,” he said.
“This is a surprise and a shock.”
Trombley said Mr. Cashman was kind of quiet and mostly kept to himself but was always direct and honest in conversation.
“This is just so hard to believe,” he said.
‘TYPICAL, LOVING COUPLE’
Mr. Cashman had also served as sole assessor for the Town of Malone, from August 2006 until his retirement in June 2012.
Jeff Wagner met Mr. Cashman, who was also a correction officer, at Campus Corner restaurant in downtown Plattsburgh about two years ago.
He said Mr. Cashman would stop for coffee on a regular basis on his way home from work.
Mr. Cashman became interested in hot rods as a hobby after he retired and bought one at a car auction in Indianapolis, Wagner remembered.
They would get together every Friday night with other hot-rod enthusiasts, he noted, and in the summer, would have cookouts. Mrs. Cashman prepared food for those get-togethers.
“They were very nice people,” Wagner said.
Mrs. Cashman was a great cook with a bubbly personality, he noted, while Wayne was a bit more of a quiet type. Still, Wagner said, the two always seemed well suited for one another.
“Every time we saw them, they were a very typical, loving couple,” he said.
Wagner couldn’t imagine what might have led up to Monday’s tragedy.
Mr. Cashman, he said, “was very quiet about his personal life.”
‘BLESSING TO NEIGHBORS’
Donna Donah’s parents, Carl and Lorena Tacy, live next door to the Cashmans’ home.
Mr. Cashman kept busy all summer tending to his extensive flower garden, she said.
“Their house was like a castle. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The couple often looked in on the Tacys, who are both 91.
“They (Cashmans) were a blessing to my parents,” Donah said. “Just super, super nice people who would always help them.”
Mr. Cashman would often sit out front with Donah’s dad and have coffee, and Mrs. Cashman would cook for the elderly couple.
“My mom broke her hip two years ago and (Mrs. Cashman) would always bring food over, which helped me out a lot and made my parents smile,” Donah said.
“She was always making people smile.”
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