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William F. Canavan

December 24, 1929 April 2, 2018
William F. Canavan
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Obituary for William F. Canavan

William F. “Bill” Canavan, 88, fell peacefully into God’s embrace on Monday, April 2, 2018 in Kensington Park, Maryland. Remarkably, April 2 was the 25th Anniversary of his wife Jean Ann’s death.
Bill was born in Connerton, Pennsylvania, on December 24, 1929, son of the late William John and Clara (Kirwan) Canavan. Bill was graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Business in Accounting. He served in the U.S. Army in Saudi Arabia from 1952-1953, attaining the rank of Sargent. As he often dryly said, “I fought the Korean War with a pencil from Saudi Arabia.”
Bill worked his entire forty-plus year career at Turner Construction Company in Philadelphia, New York and finally, for twenty years, as Assistant Comptroller in Boston. He retired in 1992.
Bill wed the late Genevieve (Jean Ann) Cavanaugh on April 19, 1952. Together they raised a family of seven independent children. They settled in Andover, Massachusetts as they became grandparents.
After many years of mourning and reflection following Jean Ann’s death, Bill met another person he cared for very deeply: Mary Tanner of Andover, and they spent many happy years together.
Bill is survived by his son Kevin J. Canavan and his wife Sheila (Cash) of Bethesda, MD; son Patrick J. Canavan and his husband, Daniel McNeil of Washington, DC; daughter Jeane Marie Kuntz and her husband, Michael Kuntz of Medford, NJ; son Michael G. Canavan and his wife, Ann Hamel of Bradford, VT; daughter Kathleen C. Denny and her husband, Hugh Denny of Everett, WA; his son, James E. Canavan and his wife, Anita Hebert of Windham, NH; and his son, William T. Canavan of Naples, FL. Bill is survived by 20 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, whom he loved dearly and remembered fondly.
Bill was a man of faith who, with his wife of over forty years, raised their seven children in the Catholic tradition. While Bill dedicated much of his life to his career at Turner, nothing meant more to him than family, immediate and extended. He was proud of his children and simply delighted in the accomplishments of his grandchildren – ever the proud “Pop.” Bill was always drawn to the beach and his family has fond memories of him fishing or simply enjoying the sun and water.
Bill was known for his quick wit and mischievous smile. He was an extremely intelligent man who used his insights and moral character to guide his children and employees alike, encouraging all to do their best.

Bill is also survived by his siblings: Joseph G. Canavan (Winnie) of Toms River, NJ; Anne E. Tracy (Charles) of Arlington, TX; and John Canavan (Vera) of Audubon, PA. He is also survived by Jean Ann’s sisters, Sister Jane Cavanaugh, Sister of Charity of Convent Station, NJ; Mary Rita Foley of Tryon, NC; Margaret Regan of Augusta, GA; and Bernadette Quinn of Pensacola, FL.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend his visitation at the H.L. Farmer and Sons Bradford Funeral Home, 210 South Main St., Bradford, MA on Sunday evening April 8, 2018 from 6:00 until 8:00 pm. A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Augustine’s Church, 43 Essex St., Andover, MA at 10:00 am on Monday April 9. Interment will follow in Spring Grove Cemetery, Andover. In lieu of flowers, the family requests considering donations to: Saint Elizabeths Hospital Patient Gift Fund Community Outreach and Volunteer Services 1100 Alabama Avenue, SE Washington DC 20032 In the memo line, please write “Canavan-music therapy.” Or, you may consider donating to Music & Memory at To share a memory or for more information, please visit

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Previous Events





6:00 PM 4/8/2018 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 4/8/2018 8:00:00 PM
H.L. Farmer & Sons Bradford Funeral Home

210 South Main Street
Bradford, MA 01835

H.L. Farmer & Sons Bradford Funeral Home
210 South Main Street Bradford 01835 MA
United States





10:00 AM 4/9/2018 10:00:00 AM
St. Augustine Church

43 Essex St.
Andover, MA 01810

St. Augustine Church
43 Essex St. Andover 01810 MA
United States

Cemetery Details


Spring Grove Cemetery Final Resting Place

7-21 Spring Grove Rd.
Andover, MA 01810

7-21 Spring Grove Rd. Andover 01810 MA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Music & Memory

Saint Elizabeths Hospital Patient Gift Fund Community Outreach and Volunteer Services

1100 Alabama Avenue, SE
Washington DC

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