John Cavanaugh

04/21/1945 — 02/03/2024

From Richland, WA | Born in Butte, MT

John Cavanaugh

John Edward Cavanaugh, a dedicated engineer, esteemed educator, and beloved family man, passed away on February 3rd, 2024 at the age of 78 in Richland, WA. Born in Butte, Montana on April 21st, 1945, to John and Freda Cavanaugh, John’s life was marked by a commitment to excellence, service, and love.

On August 2, 1969, he embarked on a lifelong journey with the love of his life, Antoinette “Toni” Spear, exchanging vows in a ceremony filled with love and promise. Together, they shared a life rich with memories, challenges, and unwavering devotion.

Throughout his illustrious career, John’s passion for engineering and safety led him on a remarkable professional path. A graduate of Butte Christian Brothers High, he pursued higher education at Montana Technological University, earning both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Engineering Science with concentrations in Mining, Safety, Health, and Environment. His collegiate years were not only defined by academic achievements but also by his dedication to collegiate football, demonstrating his tenacity and spirit on the field. Later, he furthered his academic pursuits at Gonzaga University, obtaining a Masters in Organizational Leadership.

John’s professional endeavors spanned various esteemed institutions, including the Environmental Engineering Department for Anaconda Company, the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, EXXON Company, and the Department of Energy. His expertise in ventilation engineering and ground control safety made significant contributions to the field, ensuring the well-being of countless individuals working in hazardous environments.

In addition to his distinguished career, John served as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Gonzaga University and held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. His commitment to education and service extended beyond the confines of his professional responsibilities, leaving an indelible mark on all those he encountered.

Beyond his professional achievements, John was cherished for his warmth, kindness, and zest for life. A devoted husband, father, and friend, he found joy in woodworking, home remodeling, nurturing pets, cheering on his favorite football teams, exploring the wonders of science, embarking on jogs/fun runs, and reveling in the beauty of music.

John’s passing leaves a profound void in the lives of his loved ones, including his cherished wife Antoinette (Toni), son Justin, and grandchildren Javier & Marisol. John was preceded in death by his son, Warren Cavanaugh, his parents, John and Freda Cavanaugh. He leaves behind a legacy of love and service that will continue to inspire all who knew him.

In honoring John’s memory, let us remember his indomitable spirit, his unwavering dedication to his family and community, and his profound impact on the fields of engineering and safety. Though he may have left this earthly realm, his legacy will forever shine brightly in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have known him.

A celebration of John’s life will be held in the spring and further details will be provided when arrangements are finalized.

Guestbook for

John Cavanaugh

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Your guestbook entry will be visible to the public.

  • Toni – We were all sorry to hear about John’s passing. He was such a good guy and helped me a lot when he was still able to be active in our NARFE chapter. We also had worked together at DOE and John was well liked and repected. I hope you and your family are all healing. Once you set a date for a memorial please let me know. I would like to announce it at a NARFE chapter meeting. My thoughts as prayers are will you all.

    Nancy Crosby
    March 2, 2024
    Kennewick WA
  • Test

    Crystal Percifield
    February 27, 2024
  • Call Now Button