John T. Cavanaugh

WILMINGTON—John T. Cavanaugh, 84, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
He was born on May 5, 1938 in Kankakee to Dan E. and Mary A. (nee McGrath) Cavanaugh. He grew up in rural Wilmington, later working as a farm hand for his father and other local farmers. He was then employed at Caterpillar in Joliet, retiring after 35 years. John married Shirley Cunning on Nov. 21, 1959 at St. Rose Catholic Church in Wilmington.
A natural handyman, John built his family home himself 57 years ago. He was very involved with his community, serving on both the Custer Park and Reed Custer School Boards, totaling over 25 years. He also served on the planning commission for Custer Township, on the Custer Park Fire Department and as Trustee for the Custer Township Fire Protection District. He served as an usher for many years at St. Rose Catholic Church. There was no such thing as a stranger to John. He loved to visit and make friends in his community. Most of all, John was a devoted father and grandfather and was involved with many of their school activities.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years and one day, Shirley Cavanaugh; his children: Kimberly Cavanaugh, of San Antonio, TX; Kari Cavanaugh, of Braidwood; J. Kelly Cavanaugh, of Custer Park and Chris (Tonya) Cavanaugh, of Braidwood; his eight grandchildren: Angela (Brian) Julian, Amy (Wayne) Howard, Kristin (Ryan) Doherty, Melissa Gillis, Luke Borth, Jake Borth, Ryan (Aliyah Reyes) Cavanaugh and Bret John Cavanaugh; his six great-grandchildren: Elijah, Kylie, Logan, Jayla, Aiden and Jackson; his sister, Mary (the late Jack) Schott, of Kankakee; his brothers: Francis (Joanne) Cavanaugh, of Braidwood; Bill (Kax) Cavanaugh, of Kankakee and Ray (Kay) Cavanaugh, of Oro Valley, AZ; special brother-in-law, Don (Jody) Cunning, of Sebring, FL; special cousin, Dick Lehman, of Lander, WY and special friends, Jim and Carol Shenk, of Wilmington.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Mary Cavanaugh; his sister, Kathleen Gatlin and his niece, Marne Cavanaugh-Wyatt.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Ronald McDonald House Charities in honor of John.
Funeral services were held at Ferrari Funeral Services in Coal City. Deacon William Dunn officiated. Burial followed at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Wilmington.
The family will host a formal Memorial Service at a later date.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.
Ferrari Funeral Services of Coal City were entrusted with arrangements.