Philip Cavanaugh, 85: told tales from the road, heart

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Philip Cavanaugh, 85, died in Portland on Aug. 21, surrounded by his family.

He was born the son of Florence (O’Brien) Cavanaugh and Daniel Connor Cavanaugh on July 15, 1927, in Portland. After his father passed away, he was raised by his mother, Uncle Gerald and Aunt Josie in the Libbytown neighborhood. 

Philip joined the U.S. Navy while attending Portland High School and served during World War II. After returning from the war, he graduated with the class of 1947. 

He married Roberta Patrick on Oct. 22, 1955.

He began working at the age of 12, shoveling coal on Commercial Street. His later employers included the Lafayette Hotel, Brunswick Transportation and Sears Roebuck and Co. He also delivered lobsters and pastries, and drove buses for the South Portland School Department for more than 15 years.

Cavanaugh loved to travel. In retirement, Roberta and he traveled nearly around the world on cruise ships. The couple also loved to travel to see their grandchildren play sports, act in plays, perform in band concerts and tap-dance.

Cavanaugh loved family gatherings and backyard barbecues, as well as attending the annual reunions and monthly breakfasts of retired bus drivers. He was involved with the 5th Maine Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, Holy Cross Church and the Knights of Columbus in South Portland.

He is predeceased by his wife, Roberta; his parents; his sister, Katherine; and grandchildren Henry and Mya Tabachnick.

He is survived by son John; son Danny and his wife, Angela; son Pat and his wife, Cheryl; daughter Mary Ann Harris; daughter Aileen and her husband, Bob Tabachnick; daughter Jane Cavanaugh; daughter Jan and her husband, Jeff Mansfield; daughter Patti Smith; 15 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be held Friday, Aug. 24, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland. A funeral service will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, at 11 a.m., at Holy Cross Catholic Church, South Portland. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. John’s Church Food Pantry, 611 Main St., South Portland, ME 04106; to the Maine Cancer Foundation, 970 Baxter Blvd., Portland, ME 04103; to the Morrison Center in Scarborough; or to the charity of one’s choice.