Cmdr. Robert (“Bob”) Bernard Cavanaugh, of Winchester, MA and Deerfield, NH, passed away peacefully on July 24, 2018, in Coronado, CA. He was born August 12, 1919, in Granger, WA, to parents Joseph and Elizabeth Cavanaugh. Bob was a lifelong learner, devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, proud American, true “tinkerer”, and one hilarious guy. The son of an educator, Bob went to Cheney College and became a sixth grade teacher himself right out of school. He met his wife (Lucile (“Lucy”) Ramsey Cavanaugh, 1918-2017) in 1939 when they went on a blind date and shared potato chips along with a ride in his Model A. In 1942, Bob joined the war effort, becoming an Ensign and receiving his Navy wings. A few months later, he wed Lucy and they began a long and fulfilling 73 years together.
Bob and Lucy moved 22 times in 22 years, as Navy orders dictated - and he never once complained. Along the way, he became the father to two successful sons, Neal and Dana. During his Naval career, Bob had many duties including Aide to Admiral Felt, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC) and Commanding Officer of Helicopter Squadron HS-9 on the U.S.S. Essex, just to name a few.
By the end of his career, Bob had accumulated approximately 6,000 hours of flight time. He was a humble man, and never bragged, but Bob was one of the finest and most respected pilots of his time. With some gentle prodding, Bob would reveal stories about his time in the Navy, sharing tales of training navigators during WW II in Corpus Christi, being engulfed in St. Elmo’s fire, searching for submarines off the coast of Kodiak Island, teaching George Herbert Walker Bush to fly, or dangerous missions over the 38th Parellel in the Korean War.
After his retirement in 1965, he and Lucy settled in Winchester, MA where Bob began a second career in the planning office at MIT. Bob purchased a building lot on Pleasant Lake in Deerfield, NH as a perfect summer getaway. Although he hired a builder to frame a cottage, he built everything else, from the rock walls outside, to the kitchen cabinets inside. Bob and his family enjoyed many summers there swimming, boating, and devouring good lobster and even better laughs together. Bob believed in and joyfully embraced the duties associated with life: family, God and country. His warm and loving spirit left all who knew him better. We miss him dearly.
Bob is survived by his two sons, Neal Cavanaugh (Roger Coulton) of Upper Arlington, OH, and Dana Cavanaugh (Renee Cavanaugh) of Coronado, CA. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Megan Cavanaugh (Donnie Austin), Mac Cavanaugh (Silvia Cavanaugh) and Lily Cavanaugh Talcott (Chris Talcott), along with his niece, Karen Cavanaugh (Larry Lackey). Bob leaves behind 5 great-grandchildren: McKinley Cavanaugh (6), Charlie Austin (4), Weston Cavanaugh (3), Calia Cavanaugh (1), and Lucy Austin (1).
A funeral service will be held at the Parish of the Epiphany (70 Church Street, Winchester, MA 01890) on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Parish of the Epiphany, 70 Church Street, Winchester, MA 01890.