Charles Lee Cavanaugh, son of Carroll C. and Augusta Anderson Cavanaugh, was born January 18, 1920, in Granger, Williamson County, Texas. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ann, of Arkansas; his second wife, Bessie Corn of Oklahoma; his father and mother; and his five siblings: Catherine Lastor, Carroll (Bill) Cavanaugh, Mary Ellen Lindsey, Neil Foch Cavanaugh, and Margret Jirasek.
Charles grew up and received his formal education in Granger, Texas. He joined the U. S. Navy and served aboard the USS Hovey (DSM 11), a mine sweeper that was entering Pearl Harbor as the first wave of Japanese bombers flew overhead to begin World War II. He survived that attack to later serve aboard the USS Ganymede (AK 104). He served 69 months of sea duty and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, American Defence Medal, American Area Campaign, Asiatic-Pacific Area, World War II Victory, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.
After the war he worked for various oil companies in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. He became a drilling rig trouble shooter who was called upon when the drilling rigs broke down in the field. He would arrive with his truck-mounted specialty equipment to get the rigs up and running and the drilling process restored. Halliburton, McCollough, Atlas, and National Lead all benefited from his knowledge, expertise, and work ethic.
During his years in Arkansas, he met his first wife, Ann. They married and attended their local Baptist church where Red taught adult Sunday School. After Ann's death, his work took him to Oklahoma where he meet and married his second wife, Bessie. They enjoyed camping, fishing, traveling, and spending time with her large extended family.
After Bessie's death, Red moved to Houston, Mo. to be near his nephew, Jim Cavanaugh. Although in his 80s and suffering from macular degeneration, Red was physically and mentally strong, enjoyed living independently, and was socially active well into his 90s. He shared colorful oil field and WWII stories with friends and family and dancing with his many friends. After a bout with cancer in 2015, he moved to the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James, Mo. where he recovered and spent the next 2 1/2 years participating in daily activities including exercise class, checkers, bingo, and dancing. He enjoyed the visits from old friends and family as well as making new friends among fellow residents, staff, and members of volunteer service organizations. Red was an unforgettable person, who left this past for an even brighter future on Sunday, September 17, 2017. We will miss him.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, September 21, 2017 at the Thomas Funeral Home, Welch, Oklahoma. Interment at Walker Cemetery, West of Welch.
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Walker Cemetery, c/o Thomas Funeral Home, P.O. Box 231, Welch, Okla.
Services under the direction of Todd Chenoweth, Thomas Funeral Home, Welch.
Military Rites will be performed by the American Legion Post #147, Veteran's Funeral Detail.