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NEWBURYPORT - Thomas A. Cavanaugh, 81, of Newburyport, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 16th at the Brigham Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease and health complications. He was the husband of Dale Pinkham Cavanaugh.
Tom was a good hearted and talented man with many interests and enthusiasms that he pursued from childhood throughout most of his life. One of his greatest passions was learning, a lifelong experience that he thoroughly savored. He was a great conversationalist who enjoyed reading, religion and philosophy particularly in his later years. Tom was also a skilled and versatile builder and designer of classic wooden boats as well as model airplanes and trains. He loved his family dearly and did his best to honor those important relationships in the midst of a very busy life and significant health challenges.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri on December 5, 1936, he was the only child of the late John W. and Hazel M. (Fischer) Cavanaugh. He was raised in the Cleveland Ohio area and graduated from Fairview High School. He then went on to attend Tri-State College and Baldwin-Wallace College. In later years, he attended and earned a management certificate from Harvard Business School.
With great enthusiasm, steadfast determination and endless hours of dedicated work, Tom was an Entrepreneur who pursued a long and varied career as an Electrical Engineer, Manufacturers Representative, Purchasing Director and Boat Builder. In the early part of his career he worked for Bailey Meter Company, Keithly Instruments and various other firms in Ohio and Pennsylvania. During this time, he founded a printed circuit business with two partners. In 1977, Tom moved with his family to Massachusetts to assume a purchasing management role with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). He retired from DEC in 1992 to found Classic Yacht Charters and Preservation Shipyard of Newburyport and Haverhill. Tom and his Boatbulding Team built and renovated a beautiful array of classic wooden power and sail boats over a period of twelve years.
In addition to his wife Dale of Amesbury, he is also survived by his children, Victoria Kirkland of Ana Cortes, WA, Christopher Cavanaugh of Cypress, Texas, and Leigh Cavanaugh of Amesbury; three grandchildren, Lindsey Kirgan and her husband, Danny, Megan Cavanaugh and Grant Kirkland; and his Border Collie Rosie. He was predeceased by his daughter-in-law, Helene Cavanaugh.
The family is deeply grateful for all of the support provided to Tom and his loved ones by the Episcopal Church in Amesbury and Newburyport over a period of many years as well as Beacon Hospice in the final months of Tom's life.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 166 High Street, Newburyport, MA 01950, Alzheimer's Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452 or the Amedisys Foundation, c/o Beacon Hospice an Amedisys Company, 100 Cummings Center, Suite 222C, Beverly, MA 01915.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 11 a.m. in St. Anna's Chapel of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 166 High Street, Newburyport. Arrangements are being handled by Paul C. Rogers Family Funeral Home, 2 Hillside Avenue, Amesbury.
Published on February 23, 2018
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