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William Frederick Cavanaugh

October 22, 1935 May 17, 2020
William Frederick Cavanaugh
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Obituary for William Frederick Cavanaugh

William (Bill) Frederick Cavanaugh, age 84 of Ann Arbor passed away on May 17, 2020. Bill was born on October 22, 1935 in Ann Arbor, the son of the late George & Mabel (Ludwig) Cavanaugh. After graduation he farmed and later went to serve in the National Guard. On October 24, 1964, he married Carol Lambarth at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in Saline, MI and she survives. Bill was employed by Ford Motor Co. in Saline and was a member of the UAW Local 892. He retired in 1997 after a 30 year career. Bill’s true passion was farming. He was a devoted farmer for over 65 years. Bill was born into farming and was proud his son chose to follow in the family’s farming tradition. He enjoyed working the land with his International Harvester Farmall tractors which he collected.

Bill was a longtime active and faithful member of the St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church in Northfield Township. Spending time with family, friends and neighbors meant everything to Bill. He never missed an opportunity to take a ride around the neighborhood, viewing crops and visiting with friends & neighbors on many topics but farming was at the top of that list. Through the years, Bill attended many auctions, antique tractor shows and tractor pulls. He also enjoyed reading his tractor magazines and watching the game(s) from his favorite chair.

Even as he struggled through health challenges in his later life, his sense of humor and strong will to live never left him. His faith and family were the foundation of his life. “Papa", as the family called him, was a source of strength to all of us. We feel a great loss and emptiness in our hearts but our loss is heaven’s gain. He will be remembered as a great husband, dad and papa.

In addition to his wife, Carol, of 55 years, other survivors include his son David (Susan) Cavanaugh; daughter Laurie Cavanaugh (Paul Storms); sister Joann Nordman, all of Ann Arbor; grandchildren Katie, Ami & Richard Cavanaugh and several nieces and nephews. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brothers-in-law Guy Nordman, Lauren Geiger, Glen Macomber, Oscar Zahn, Norman Lambarth and sister-in-law Rose Ann Geiger. A very special thank you to nephew, Kevin Geiger, for all his care in helping his uncle in his later years.

Visitation will be at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, 2945 E. Northfield Church Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105 on Friday, May 22, 2020 from 4-7:30PM. A private family funeral & burial will be held at the church on May 23, 2020. Pastor John P. Gierach will officiate. Memorial contributions can be made to St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, 2945 E. Northfield Church Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Please follow State Guidelines for social distancing when attending the visitation.

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Previous Events





4:00 PM 5/22/2020 4:00:00 PM - 7:30 PM 5/22/2020 7:30:00 PM
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

2945 E. Northfield Church
Ann Arbor , MI 48105

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
2945 E. Northfield Church Ann Arbor 48105 MI

Cemetery Details


St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery Final Resting Place

2945 E. Northfield Church Rd.
Ann Arbor , MI 48105

2945 E. Northfield Church Rd. Ann Arbor 48105 MI
United States

Memorial Contribution

St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church

2945 E. Northfield Church Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

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