In Memoriam: James J. Cavanaugh


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has received word of the death of former employee James J. Cavanaugh on February 5, in Falmouth.  He was 86.

Born in Woods Hole, James was a graduate of Lawrence High School in Falmouth.

James served in the U. S. Navy during WW II as a sonar operator on the USS Thomas E. Fraser and USS McCook. He began his career at WHOI in 1947 as a seaman and left in 1969 having worked up to the position of 1st Mate.  During his tenure he served on many of the Institution’s research vessels such as the Gosnold, Chain, Caryn, Crawford and Atlantis. From 1969 to 1988 he worked for the Highway Department for the Town of Falmouth.

He was the husband of Reidun (Hendriksen) Cavanaugh who died in 1986. He leaves three daughters Elizabeth Cavanaugh of VA; Mary Cavanaugh of Hatchville, MA; and Ann Cavanaugh of Boston, MA; one sister Mary Noonan and her husband Robert of Newport, FL; and his grandchildren, Kyle and Sarah Carlton. He was brother of the late Jack and Frank Cavanaugh.

Visiting Hours will be Thursday, February 7, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth.  A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, February 8, at 9:00 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Church, 167 E. Falmouth Highway, E. Falmouth. Burial will follow at the V. A. National Cemetery of Massachusetts in Bourne.

Memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod & Islands, 712 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601.


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