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James "Jim" Cavanaugh

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James "Jim" Cavanaugh age 90 of rural Charles City, IA, died peacefully on Thursday, August 30, 2018, at his home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, September 6, 2018, at Holy Family Parish, New Hampton, with Rev. Brian Dellaert celebrating the Mass. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, New Hampton. Friends may greet the family 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in New Hampton where there will be a 7:30 p.m. parish scripture service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Thursday. In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to contribute to charitable organizations of their choice. James William Cavanaugh was born August 13, 1928, in Mason City, IA, the son of Harry and Catherine (Kiley) Cavanaugh. Jim was raised on the north end of Mason City, IA, moving to Charles City where he graduated from the Charles City High School. He then attended Creighton University. Jim served in the Army’s Airborne Division and was honorably discharged on August 21, 1947. Jim married Joyce Arlene Pennington on August 14, 1950, and to this union two children were born. He farmed all of his adult life on Wapsi Valley Farms and truly loved the land. Feeding and caring for cattle were some of his passions in life, which he was occupied with until the last week of his life. He loved to garden and provide others with produce. Jim was known for pitching in to help friends and neighbors in need, loved people and appreciated their friendship, as well as a good card game. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and observing wildlife. Earlier in his life he developed ponds and wildlife plantings and strongly supported conservation practices. Jim will be remembered for being a master story-teller. He read constantly, kept track of the agricultural markets and was involved in many activities. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; son, David (Lois) Cavanaugh of the family farm; daughter, Candice (Mark) Gardner of Ankeny; grandchildren, Kyle (Torrey) Cavanaugh of Savage, MN, Lori (David) Schmitz of Dubuque, IA, Chris (Mallory) Gardner of Elkhart, IA, Michael Gardner of Ankeny, IA; four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Catherine (Kiley) and Harry Cavanaugh, six sisters, five brothers, his father- and mother-in-law, Dewey and Audrey Pennington, and brother- and sister-in-law, Gordon and Jackie Pennington.

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  1. Very sorry for the loss of your father Candy. Still remember the day early in my Hilltop days when he and your mom came in and your dad ordered a “Gibson”. I panicked. Had no idea what that was. He told me and I could not make it because we did not have the pearl onions that went in it. We were never without those onions again. RIP Jim. Hope you can get a Gibson in heaven.

  2. Jim was a man with many interests.. From cattle, to gun collecting, to hunting, fishing, gardening and war history. A gifted storyteller is no longer with us. He will be missed. May shared memories help comfort his family. May he rest in peace.

  3. Can remember summer we picked up rocks. Aunt joyce made best meals. My first exposure to a farm. Now 47 years a farm wife. Jim and Joyce didn’t quite get me ready for this role in one week on farm. Love love instead of David from a town listed as farm farm. What a rich life we farmers live!

  4. Jim was a generous man. He delighted in leaving cantaloupe and watermelon on our doorstep. We were always appreciative of his kindness. Jim will be missed. May he rest in peace.

  5. We will miss Jim’s wit and wisdom and visits. When he made trips to town for groceries or produce deliveries, he would stop here to play cribbage with George. Jerry Zenk would usually join them and Jake when schedules allowed it. He loved cribbage, saying it keeps the mind sharp. Indeed it did for him! We always had coffee and dessert and the guys would play and laugh and visit. Jim had lots of stories to share. Good times. RIP to one of the great ones.

  6. Our sincere sympathy to Jim’ family.
    When Jim would stop into our store to purchase
    something; it was an enjoyable experience for me.
    I talked to Jim early this summer and he said to me
    “I’m 90 years old and still farming” Keep on farming Jim.
    Dan & Jean Scott

  7. Anders, Sarah and Freya Thomsen
    Jim was a great friend of our family, we enjoyed his company, stories and benevolence …and of course the corn for many summers. We will miss him very much.Our love and condolences go out to Joyce, Dave , Candy, Lois, Kyle, Lori , David and all his family and friends will be thinking of you. Anders, Sarah and Freya Thomsen.

  8. Our sincere condolences to the Cavanaugh family. I remember meeting him at the Swift Hog Buying station when delivering our market hogs. Also, had a great time when I did a yield check on corn for him for a high yield he had one yr. for the state contest. Yes he enjoyed the rural life.

  9. Thoughts and prayers with you all! Great memories talking about fishing and his great love of the outdoors. My children all loved being around Jim and always talked about the plastic cockroach story. 🙂 Our lives were blessed by knowing you Jim Cavanaugh. Love, Mark & Cindy Snell (& family)

  10. Jim Cavanaugh was also known as Uncle Billy by many nieces and nephews during our childhood years. He always greeted us with a wonderful smile, and his hug filled us with warmth and love. He was fun to share time with, and we all loved visiting the farm with he and his lovely wife Joyce. It was obvious he loved the pleins peaceful landscape, and he appreciated what the earth could give back with his beautiful garden. He shared his bounty as well as his joyous spirit with many extended family and friends. He had a deep side as well, and I still recall my last good bye with him after a visit a few yrs. ago. We both shed a tear. Many of us will be coming from various parts of the country to show our love and respect. My sincere sympathy to Joyce, Candace, David, and all their extended family. I know the Cavanaugh Clan will meet and cherish his presence and assist his new transition to the “other side” which many call Heaven. He will be missed by many, but I believe his spirit lives on. He had a joyous soul that will continue to evolve I feel sure.

  11. A smile comes to my face ever time I think of Jim. What a character! I remember visiting him with my dad and learning all about his cats, cattle and current state of the garden. He will be missed. My deepest sympathies to your family.

  12. Dear David and Candy,
    I am sorry to read of your father’s passing, and I wish for both of you comfort in his memory.
    David, I remember your friendship from very early years! I hope you are well.
    And Candy, I am grateful I got to know you in high school.
    My best to both of you and your families,
    Julie McCartney Cimmet

  13. I am sorry to say we were on a family vacation when I heard of Jim’s passing. My sympathies go out to you and your family. He was such a special person and he left an impression that will always be a part of me. May your many memories help you get through the coming days. I will miss as you certainly will


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