Cassandra Anne “Angie” Jakusz is a former Survivor: Palau castaway who passed away on January 8, 2021, at the age of 40. According to her obituary, she is survived by her husband Steven Calandra, her parents Wayne and Linda Jakusz, her brother Jon, a niece named Addison Calandra, and a nephew named Leo Robert Probst-Jakusz. Here’s what you need to know about Jakusz’s husband and family.
Angie and Steven Married In October 2011
According to Calandra’s Facebook page, he and Jakusz were married on October 2, 2011. He is originally from Little Silver, New Jersey, and attended Red Bank Regional High School. He eventually made his way down to New Orleans, Louisiana, which is where he and Jakusz resided.
There is no information available about how they met, but at the time Jakusz was on Survivor, she was living with her boyfriend, a man named Keith, according to her CBS profile, so she and Calandra were not yet together at that point, which means they met between 2005 and 2011.
On the GoFundMe for Jakusz’s treatments, Calandra wrote, “Angie is an amazing, creative, fearless and all-around bad a** woman. She’s a painter, designer, seamstress and baker. She’ll make you a custom corset, costume or cake! Angie was also a founding member of the New Orleans Noisician Coalition!”
Calandra is a Musician
According to a Facebook post for Happy Talk, Calandra is a musician. He plays bass in both Happy Talk and the Morning 40 Federation. On its Facebook page, Happy Talk is described as “a four-piece Americana group from New Orleans fronted by songwriter Luke Spurr Allen. They formed in 2001, have released four albums, and despite their name, most of their songs are a bummer.”
The albums we could find are titled Total Death Benefit (2004), There There (2007) and Starve A Fever (2010).
The Morning 40 Federation is a New Orleans-based rock band that boasts Josh Cohen, Ryan Scully, Bailey Smith, Mike Andrepont, Rick Hukill, and Calandra as the members. It has released four albums, titled You My Brother, Trick Nasty, Morning 40 Federation, and Ticonderoga, according to the biography of the band at All Music.
Calandra’s Friends Held a Benefit Concert for Jakusz
Jakusz was first diagnosed with cancer back in November 2017, according to a GoFundMe page Calandra started in January 2018. It said that she had “a rare form of squamous cell colorectal cancer” and that she was uninsured at the time of her diagnosis, which was a three-month process.
Jakusz eventually qualified for insurance, but the page was asking for help to cover $30,000 in medical bills from before her insurance kicked in. In addition to the GoFundMe page, Calandra’s musician friends Alex McMurray and Greg Schatz and the Friggin’ Geniuses put on a benefit concert at D.B.A. New Orleans, a local jazz club. McMurray wrote on his website of the gig, “Benefit for our friend and Brother Steve Calandra’s wife Angie Jakusz. Got the cancer & need some dough for living expenses. Let’s do this.”
The post from D.B.A. New Orleans read, “Benefit for No Fun Angie feat. Greg Schatz 5 pm, Helen Gillet 6 pm, Happy Talk Band 7 pm, Morning 40 Federation 8 pm.”
It cost $20 and featured food from Piece of Meat butcher and Red’s Jambalaya, live music, and a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle to raise money.
Jakusz’s Parents Have Retired to Florida
According to Jakusz’s GoFundMe page, she was born in March 1980 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where she attended Mukwonago High School. Her parents, Wayne and Linda Jakusz, are also both from the Midwest but have retired to Florida.
According to Linda Dietrich Jakusz’s Facebook page, she went to Geneva Community High School in Geneva, Illinois, and then attended the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. Wayne Jakusz also attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, so perhaps that is where they met. He went on to work at the Cadi Company, according to his Facebook page. The Cadi Company is a “manufacturer and distributor of high conductivity copper alloys,” according to its website.
In 2015, Linda and Wayne moved to Sebastian, Florida, where Linda wrote on her Facebook profile that she is “working hard at retirement.”
Jakusz’s Brother Jon is an Army Veteran
Angie Jakusz had one sibling, a brother named Jonathan who resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to his Facebook page. On the day of Angie’s death, he changed his Facebook profile picture to one of their family, writing in the comments that it was taken in 2005 when he “just got home from the Army.”
According to several Facebook posts, he was stationed in Iraq twice, the first in 2007 and the second time in 2009.
Angie Jakusz’s obituary says that Jon’s son is Leo Robert Probst-Jakusz. She also has a niece on her husband’s side, Addison Calandra. The obituary also says of Angie, ““Angie was an incredibly passionate person with an extraordinary lust for life. Whether she was sewing, painting, drawing, doing nail art or makeup, costuming, reading, snorkeling, scuba diving, traveling or just raising hell, she did it lovingly and with laser precision.”
On the memorial page, a friend named “John R.” wrote, “Angie was a wonderful person. She was vivacious, ebullient, and a total blast to be around. We dated briefly and her star was too bright to be shadowed by the person I was at the time. I will always cherish the memories I have of her. Godspeed, Kitten.”
Jakusz’s tribemate Coby Archa told People that Jakusz was an incredible person who really made waves on the show, saying, “People have to remember back in 2005 women weren’t cast on Survivor with dreads and tattoos. She broke the casting barrier. Fans related to her story so much. And a lot of people wanted to see her play again for her strength.”
He continued, “We had heard from her family 3 years ago that she was battling cancer. We raised some money for her treatments. She wasn’t into the fame, just the experience of Survivor. She came, she played, and she went back to her life in New Orleans. She liked her life that way.”