Archie James Cavanaugh, Sr.

Posted: Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lifelong Kake resident Archie James Cavanaugh Sr. died peacefully on Nov. 11, 2009, at the Bartlett Regional Hospital. He was 81.

He and his wife, Bertha Cavanaugh, moved from Kake to Juneau three years ago due to his need for weekly dialysis.

"Archie really appreciated all the friends he made in Juneau and especially Pastor Green, assistant pastor Jerry Bennett and all the musicians and congregation of the Church of God," his family wrote.

His Tlingit name was "Naash," born to the Eagle moiety of the Waseineidi Clan of the Taax Hit (many tiers house), in Kake.

Born March 31, 1928, in Kake, to Richard Thomas Cavanaugh and Elizabeth Mathews, he was a man noted for his unrelenting and tremendous Christian faith, witnessing to those during his last remaining breath at the hospital for all those who came to be with him, his family said.

He was a man of athletic basketball talents, being the very first inductee into the Mount Edgecumbe High School Hall of Fame, as well as the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal. He served in the Alaska National Guard for four years (1953-1956), being honorably discharged as a staff sergeant and rifleman of Company C, 208th Infantry.

His career included seining, halibut fishing, tree falling and carpentry. He enjoyed fishing, basketball, subsistence living and his grandchildren.

"He loved his family and was a good provider," his family wrote. "He was quick to give and to laugh. He possessed a humorous character with his ability to entertain with his stories. He was a devoted husband, father, uncle and grandpa. He will be missed by all who knew him."

He was preceded in death by his sisters, Josephine Paul, Katherine Martin, Cecelia Mills and Mamie Davis; and brothers, David Thomas, Richard Cavanaugh and Rudy Cavanaugh.

He is survived by his wife, Bertha Cavanaugh; sons, Archie Cavanaugh Jr., and wife, Melinda, Willis Cavanaugh and wife, Lonnie, and Eugene and Roderick Cavanaugh; daughters, Lorelei Padgett and husband, Glen, Carla Cavanaugh, Kathleen Merry and husband, Kevin, Nathalie Rice and husband, Darryl, and Robbie Martin; 24 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be all of Archie's grandsons. Honorary pallbearers are Gilbert Truitt, John Martin Sr., Assistant Pastor Jerry Bennett, Pastor Richard Green, Bill Bean, Max Brown, Wesley Brown, Paul White, Franklin Williams, Walter Williams Jr., George Davis, Stack Martin and Herbie Didrickson.

A celebration of his life will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at the Glacier Valley Church of God, Thunder Mountain. Memorial services also will be held in Kake at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the local community hall. Funeral services will be held at noon Thursday, Nov. 19, at the same location with a dinner to follow. Donations can be made at the memorials or sent to Bertha Cavanaugh, 8422 Valley Blvd., Juneau, AK 99801.

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