Visitation at Funeral Home
Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Thomas R. Cavanagh
CAVANAGH, Thomas R. of Northport, N.Y. – February 5th, 2023. Thomas was born on November 26, 1941 in Northport, N.Y. Beloved son of the late Raymond T. Cavanagh and Kathleen O’Connor Cavanagh. Beloved husband and best friend of late Sandy Cavanagh. Devoted father of Sean Cavanagh, Kings Park, NY; Erik (Christina) Cavanagh, Smithtown, NY; and Ryan (Kaila) Cavanagh, Sandy Hook, CT. Beloved stepfather of Richard (Allyson) Rosenberg, Scarsdale, NY and Laura Pomerantz, Centerport, NY. Dear brother of Patricia (Roger) Kowalski, Irene (Barry) Katz, Joseph, Raymond (Mary), Mary, and Kathleen. Loving grandpa to his nine grandchildren Jeffrey, Ryan, Ethan, Owen, Olivia, Declan, Lyla, Taylor and Sophia. Also survived by his nephews, nieces, and cousins. Thomas was extremely proud of his three children. He was a skillful professional and politician; he will long be remembered for his leadership, wit, humor and kindness with which he lived his life.
Thomas’s ancestors came to America in the first wave of Irish immigration due to the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1850s. He was a fifth generation Northport resident, his roots dating back to the 1880s. After attending Northport High School, Thomas joined the Navy in 1859. He earned the rank of petty officer third class, serving as a diesel engine mechanic. Spending most of his time on the USS Rival (MSO-468), a wooden mine sweeper ship, he traveled the world. During the height of the crisis, he served on the USS Mountrail. In the cover of dark they brought ammunition to Guantanamo Cuba and evacuated families from the military base to Norfolk, VA.
After his service in the Navy concluded, Thomas joined the Suffolk County Police department (2nd precinct) in 1968. He became a homicide detective in 1978 and retired in 1985 when he was first diagnosed with cancer. His son Erik later followed in his footsteps and became a NYPD police officer. From 1987-1995, Thomas served on the Kings Park School Board, becoming the board President for two years and Trustee for six years. From 1992- 2021 he worked for the Town of Huntington, serving in several positions, most notably the Director of General Services and the Deputy Highway Superintendent. His son Sean followed suit and became a foreman for the Town of Huntington. His son Ryan followed their shared passion for the game of lacrosse and became a college lacrosse Coach at Western Connecticut State University.
Thomas was fortunate to find the love of his life in his late wife Sandy. Together, they enjoyed a busy and productive retirement in New York and Florida full of travel, golf, book and movie clubs, and visits with friends and family. When he wasn't busy watching his son Ryan’s lacrosse games, he could be found dabbling in the local political scene, serving for a time as the Vice Chairman of the Huntington Democratic Party.
Friends and family may visit Thursday, February 9th, 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Nolan Funeral Home, located at 5 Laurel Ave, Northport NY. Funeral Mass Friday 10 a.m. at St. Phillip Neri Church in Northport, NY. Interment at St. Philip Neri Cemetery, East Northport.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Tyler Graham Foundation, PO Box 732 Colchester, CT 06415 in Tom’s memory. (tylergrahamfoundation.org)