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Donald G. Cavanaugh

April 23, 2009
Reinbeck Courier
Donald George Cavanaugh of Williamsburg, VA., died April 11, 2009 of colon cancer after a seven year battle. Born at St. Francis Hospital in Waterloo, on May 5, 1941. He was the son of George and Magdelena “Lena” Lellig Cavanaugh and raised on a farm east of Reinbeck. He graduated from West High School, Waterloo. First employed by Brown Lumber Co. in Raymond. In April 1961 he joined the U.S. Air Force. Training tours of duty at Lackland and Amarillo Air Force bases in Texas. Upon completion of training, was reassigned to Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., and in 1962 was reassigned to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. In 1963 was reassigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon for four years. In 1967 was reassigned to Headquarters Pacific Air Force in Hawaii for three years. In 1970 was reassigned back to the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. for four years. On April 6, 1974 married to Joyce Carol Spicer Cavanaugh at Fort Myer Post Chapel, Arlington, VA. In 1974 was reassigned to King Salmon Airport, Alaska. In 1975 was reassigned back to the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., for six years. May 1, 1981 he retired from the U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon. In 1981 went to work for Gibbs & Cox, Inc., Washington Division located in Arlington, Gibbs & Cox is a world-renowed navel architect and Marine engineer company in the design of large ships. He retired from Gibbs & Cox in 2006 after 25 years of service. Survivors include his wife Joyce of Williamsburg; one daughter, Jennifer, living at Ashburn, Va.; one brother, Kenneth Cavanaugh of Waterloo; and four sisters, Marvene Niedermann and Margaret Lockhart of Reinbeck, Marlys Miller of Cedar Falls and Betty Hansen of Sunnyvale, CA. Viewing took place at Nelsen’s Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg on Thursday, April 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral Mass took place Friday, April 17, at St. Bede’s Catholic Church, Williamsburg. Burial took place at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, with full military honors (date is TBD). In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made either to Hospice or the American Cancer Society. Oneline condolences may be registered at


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