Prospect- Joseph R. Cavanaugh, 77, of Prospect, died on Friday, December 31, 2021 at home. He was the beloved husband of Lynn (Jankowski) Cavanaugh. Joe was born in Waterbury on September 3, 1944, son of the late Angeline (DiMaria)Cavanaugh and Joseph Cavanaugh. He was raised in Naugatuck, CT and after graduating Naugatuck High School in 1962, he attended Waterbury State Technical College (now part of Naugatuck Valley Community College) and was a member of the first graduation class of that school earning an Associate’s Degree in Manufacturing Engineering. He continued his education at the University of New Haven earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering. He began his engineering career at Waterbury Farrell in Cheshire as a Methods Engineer.
Joe was a proud member of the US Navy serving as Yeoman at the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Arlington, VA and was honorably discharge in 1972. His proximity to Washington, DC gave him ample time to visit all the important sights the city had to offer. He became proficient in providing casual tours of the city to visiting friends and family and on occasion his future wife, Lynn.
After his discharge from the Navy, he continued his engineering career at Winchester Electronics in Watertown, CT where he held a variety of jobs as manufacturing engineer and engineering manager. He traveled extensively in support of the company at their manufacturing facilities in Nogales, Mexico, Panyu, China, Suzhou, China and Penang, Malaysia.
After a career spanning 35 years at Winchester, he retired in 2007 and became an active volunteer in the community. He served as an instructor and board member with Thresholds of Cheshire working with prison inmates. He was a Patient Advocate at Waterbury Hospital for over 10 years and enjoyed meeting new people and working with fellow volunteers. He joined Literacy Volunteers of Waterbury as a tutor in English as a second language. He served on multiple committees and was a board member for two years. During the 10 years with this organization gave Joe the opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the world. He was an active member of his retirement community in Prospect as a member of various committees and chaired the Landscaping Committee for four years.
Joe and Lynn loved to travel and visited the British Isles and most of the European and Scandinavian countries and especially enjoyed river cruises on the Rhine and Danube Rivers. They were Florida snowbirds and for many years spent the winter months in Naples, FL.
Joe was an avid fan of UCONN basketball especially the women’s team and the Boston Red Sox. He and Lynn attended many UCONN games at both Gampel and the Civic Center with occasional trips to Fenway Park.
He is survived by Lynn, his wife of 52 years, his loving and cherished children: daughter Sara Cavanaugh of West Hartford, CT and his son Joseph Cavanaugh and his partner Russ Neill of Irving, TX, his sister Mary Barron(Mark) of Alamo, CA, his sister-in-law Barbara(Jankowski) Bryant of Southington, CT and his brother-in-law Matthew Jankowski(Ann) of Adamsville, RI. He is survived by his four nieces of Southington, CT; Patrice Clynes(Frank), Kelly Musshorn(Scott), Lee Cunningham(Tom) and Courtney Dreschler(Brian) each of whom provided love and support over the years. Additional survivors include niece Rebecca Barron, Oakland, CA, niece Ann Rumble (Peter), Santa Rosa ,CA, nephew Christopher Barron(Guin) Oakland, CA.
A Funeral Mass for Joe will be held on Friday, January 7, 2022 at 1:30 pm at The Basilicia of the Immaculate Conception, 74 W. Main St., Waterbury. Please meet directly at church. Friends and family may visit with the Cavanaugh family on Thursday, January 6, 2022 from 4pm to 6 pm at Prospect Memorial/ The Palmerie Family Funeral Home, 72 Waterbury Rd. Prospect. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.
Prospect Memorial/ The Palmerie Family Funeral Home is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable atmosphere for our clients to memorialize their loved ones and receive guests. Your masks are always required to be worn within our building, regardless of vaccination status.
In lieu of flowers the Cavanaugh family requests donations be made to Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury, Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT 06702.