By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Obituary - Dwight Huong Van Tassell
McDonald and Son Funeral Home
Dwight Huong Van Tassell

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- On January 11, 2024, our beloved Dwight Huong Van Tassell left this life.

His kindness, humor and gentle temperament touched anyone who knew him. He was truly a peacemaker and was always a source of persistent positivity.

Dwight was born in Vietnam under difficult circumstances. He became a Van Tassell after his adoption in November of 1973. Without his birth record, the family decided on a day in March to celebrate his birthday.

Dwight was a hard worker, always the one found folding laundry and helping with dishes in his family of 10.

He took dance lessons alongside his sisters and father, which culminated in recitals in dance and piano.

He was often teammates with his brother and closest confident, Darin, in baseball, basketball and soccer.

Growing up, Dwight played every sport that he could. Despite missing his right hand, he quickly learned to adapt to any game.

He was well-known for catching a ball, quickly slipping off his glove and throwing the ball so fast you barely noticed.

He played on Statesboro High School's first soccer team and graduated in 1986. He went on to study recreation and graduated from Georgia Southern University.

Dwight is a two-time U.S. Olympian, competing in the Paralympics in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2002) as part of the standing volleyball team, where he twice played in the Bronze Medal game.

Although he was a remarkable athlete, brother and friend, Dwight's greatest triumph is his love story with his wife, Shanna, and the family they created together. Their engagement and marriage marked the beginning of a beautiful family, with daughters, Mia and Sarah. The happiest days of his life were the days his girls were born. Being their father was his greatest blessing and joy in life.

Family meant the world to Dwight, who shared his love for sports, particularly the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Southern, with his daughters.

Dwight spent hours umpiring, coaching and cheering from the sidelines as he watched his girls compete in swim team and gymnastics.

Despite battling the devastating effects of Type 1 Diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease, he continued to be a source of love, light and laughter for his family.

He was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had a deep and abiding testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that families are forever.

Dwight is survived by his devoted wife of 23 years, Shanna; and his cherished daughters, Mia and Sarah. His passing is deeply mourned by his parents, Lane and Chris Van Tassell; his brother, Darin (Netra) Van Tassell; sisters, Dyana Van Tassell, Danielle Van Tassell, Dana (David) Cork, Dawn (Steve) Miller, Dalane (George) Burts; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Richard and Laurie Hazzard; brothers-in-law, Fritz (Nicole) Hazzard, Doug Hazzard and Boyd (Joelle) Hazzard; sisters-in-law, Courtney DeBoer and Julie (Brett) Lafferre; and extended family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and countless friends.

Dwight is preceded in death by his brother, David Van Tassell.

A memorial to celebrate Dwight's remarkable life will take place on Saturday, January 27th, at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Dacula building, 3323 New Hope Road, Dacula, GA.

We will forever cherish the memories and love we share with Dwight. He will be deeply missed by so many. We are so thankful for miracles that happened that we could have him in our family.

Statesboro Herald, January 18, 2024

Sign the Legacy online guestbook at

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter