Enjoyed bike riding, cross country skiing

Published May 23, 2019

DERRY, N.H. — William Francis Cavanaugh, 79, passed away on May 15, 2019 at the Pleasant Valley Nursing Center in Derry, N.H.

Bill had been a resident of North Reading for 56 years. Born and raised in Reading, he was the son of the late James and Mary (Burke) Cavanaugh. He was predeceased by his loving wife, JoAnn (Wright) Cavanaugh, brothers James, Bernard, Joseph, and Richard Cavanaugh, and sisters Mary Ouellette and Gertrude Doucette.

Bill came from a large Irish Catholic family. He met his wife JoAnn, the love of his life, in high school. He was a family man who enjoyed practical jokes and had a great sense of humor but was always there to support his friends and family.

He was a man of many trades and was an honest, hard worker. At the beginning of his career, he worked at a veterinary practice in Wakefield and picked up extra work at his father-in-law’s tannery in Beverly. For a while, he became an apprentice plumber in North Reading. He also served as a Special Police Officer for the North Reading Police Department. Eventually he took over his father’s card as a longshoreman at the Boston docks in his late 20s and ended his career there as a welder many years later.

Bill’s lifestyle was very active, and included bike riding, cross country skiing, white water rafting, Irish music festivals and basketball. He was an active member of the North Reading softball team with his son, Billy.

In retirement, he continued to go to the gym every morning, and still enjoyed dancing with the girls, and golfing with his buddies. Bill was a well-known early bird and was always the first to arrive at a party. He loved spending time with his family and was keenly interested in his grandchildren’s lives.

Bill was a proud, determined and caring man who always put his family first. Those of us who were close to him will always remember a loving friend, brother, uncle, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Bill is survived by his daughter, Debra Vine and her husband James; his son William Cavanaugh Jr. and his wife Patti; his brother Donald and sisters Ruth Parrin, Barbara Barrett, Patricia O’Donnell, Joan and Carol Cavanaugh and Dorothy O’Keefe, along with his grandchildren, Melissa Jackson and her husband Brandon, Kirsten and Kyle Vine, and great-grandson Thomas Enquist. He also leaves numerous nieces and nephews. Bill’s love, wisdom, and humor live on in the faces and voices of those of us who miss him already.

His funeral service was held at the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow St., North Reading on Tuesday, May 21. Visitation was held on Monday, May 20. Burial was at Riverside Cemetery in North Reading.

Memorial donations may be made in his memory to the charity of one’s choice. For online condolences please visit: www.croswellfuneralhome.com.