Military veteran

Charles Lee Cavanaugh, 97, passed away Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.  

He was born Jan. 18, 1920, in Granger, Texas, son of Augusta Anderson and Carroll C. Cavanaugh.

Charles grew up and received his education in Granger, Texas.  He joined the Navy and served aboard the USS Hovey, a mine sweeper that was entering Pearl Harbor as the first wave of Japenese bombers flew overhead to begin World War II.  He survived that attack to later serve aboard the USS Ganymede.  He served 69 months of sea duty and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, American Defence Medal, American Area Campaign, Asiatic-Pacific Area, World War II Victory and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.

After the war, he worked for various oil companies in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He became a drilling rig trouble shooter who was called upon when the drilling rigs broke down in the field.  

During his years in Arkansas, he met his first wife, Ann.  They married and attended their local Baptist church, where he taught adult Sunday school.  Following her death, his work took him to Oklahoma, where he met and married his second wife, Bessie.  They enjoyed camping, fishing, traveling and spending time with her large extended family.  

Following Bessie’s death, he moved to Houston to be near his nephew, Jim Cavanaugh.  Although in his 80s and suffering from macular degeneration, he was physically and mentally strong, enjoyed living independently, and was socially active well into his 90s.  

After a bout with cancer in 2015, he moved to the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James, where he recovered and spent the next 2 1/2 years participating in daily activities including exercise class, checkers, bingo and dancing.  He enjoyed visits from old friends and family as well as making new friends among fellow residents, staff and members of volunteer service organizations.  

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ann, of Arkansas; his second wife, Bessie Corn of Oklahoma; his parents; and his five siblings, Catherine Lastor, Carroll Cavanaugh, Mary Ellen Lindsey, Neil Foch Cavanaugh and Margret Jirasek.

Services are 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at Thomas Funeral Home, Welch, Oklahoma.  Burial will be in Walker Cemetery, west of Welch, Okla.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Walker Cemetery c/o Thomas Funeral Home, P.O. Box 231, Welch, Okla.

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