Obituaries

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Donald Thomas Kavanaugh

September 18, 1935 - December 19, 2019

Mass of Christian Burial: 12p.m. Saturday, December 28, 2019 at St. Patrick Cathedral.

Rosary: 4 p.m. Friday, followed by visitation 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, December 27, 2019 at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole Funeral Home.

Memorials: Should friends desire, memorials in lieu of flowers may be given to Cristo Rey Fort Worth (cristoreyfortworth.org), St. Rita Catholic School (saintritaschool.net) or St. George Catholic School (stgeorgecatholicschool.org).

Donald Thomas Kavanaugh, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, passed from this earthly life to his final reward on December 19, 2019.

Don was born on September 18, 1935 in Fort Worth to Frank and Oney Kavanaugh. He had many great stories of growing up in the Riverside area with his older brother, Harold and his younger brother, Jerry.

He attended St. Ignatius Academy and Laneri High School, where he played on the football team and made many life-long friends.

In 1955 Don married the love of his life, Janelle Crow. Don and Janelle raised five children and in 1974 hosted an exchange student from Brazil, Adalberto Camargo, whom they consider to be their own son.

Don was always an entrepreneur, starting and building a linen rental service prior to purchasing Riverside Cleaners, Inc. in Fort Worth in 1969 with his father, Frank.

Don served in the U.S. Army and was active in St. George Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and the Lions Club. Along with owning his own businesses and raising five children, he was also active in local politics and was instrumental in fundraising for the Andrew “Doc” Sessions Community Center in East Fort Worth.

Don had many interests and loved to play golf and softball, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and flying his private plane. He especially appreciated his annual golfing trips with his buddies and in his later years the frequent trips to the casinos with his children and their spouses.

Don enjoyed watching the Dallas Cowboys and college football games with family and friends. He was a generous man with a great sense of humor, and he will be greatly missed. As he told his grandson during a recent family gathering, “I have done everything I wanted to do.”

Jay Jones, lifelong friend of Don’s, wrote the following about his friendship with Don.

Don and I met at Saint Ignatius Academy (next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral) in 1944, beginning a close friendship that has lasted over 75 years. One of the highlights of our early years, we were selected as Co-captains of the Laneri High School 1954 football team. Don was a middle linebacker; he played with intensity trying to be on every tackle. The smile on his face was evidence he enjoyed every play in practice or game.

I do not recall seeing him in bad mood, always fun, a true friend on whom one could rely. His yellow Ford Model “A” provided us transportation after tiring football practices. Model A’s did not have reliable battery charging generators. Therefore, he usually would park on a slight incline so one person could give it a push to start. So many great times, we did not have many material things, but we had each other and these were the best times of our lives.

Don was a key Laneri alumnus. He was very active, planning and working on 4 school-wide reunions for Laneri, Our Lady of Victory and Mount Carmel High Schools. These reunions were memorable events, helping maintain long friendships.

I was fortunate to visit with Don shortly before his passing although he was very weak. We had a great visit, talking about the close high school friends he would see on the other side. I told him I would be meeting he up there and asked him to “put in a good word” for us who will be following. This brought a touching smile which will always be etched in my memory.

Don has suffered so long I take comfort knowing he will be in a joyful place with old friends, Saints, and our Lord with his Blessed Mother.

In the meantime, I’ll miss Don so much.

He was blessed to be part of a large extended family and to have a host of friends and business associates. The family is so grateful for the love and assistance provided by Universal Health Services.

He will be greatly missed.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Oney Kavanaugh, his son, Michael Kavanaugh, and two brothers, Harold and Jerry Kavanaugh.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Janelle, daughters, Rosemary Behan and husband Michael, Sharon Jung and husband Butch, Judy Jones and husband Larry, and son, Joe and wife Patti, 11 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.