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James ‘Jim’ Cavanaugh

James “Jim” Cavanaugh age 90 of rural Charles City, IA, died peacefully on Thursday, August 30, 2018, at his home.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, at Holy Family Parish, New Hampton, with Rev. Brian Dellaert celebrating the Mass. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, New Hampton.

James ‘Jim’ Cavanaugh
James ‘Jim’ Cavanaugh

Friends may greet the family 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in New Hampton where there will be a 7:30 p.m. parish scripture service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Thursday. Online condolences for Jim’s family may be left at

In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to contribute to charitable organizations of their choice.

James William Cavanaugh was born Aug. 13, 1928, in Mason City, IA, the son of Harry and Catherine (Kiley) Cavanaugh. Jim was raised on the north end of Mason City, IA, moving to Charles City where he graduated from the Charles City High School. He then attended Creighton University. Jim served in the Army’s Airborne Division and was honorably discharged on August 21, 1947. Jim married Joyce Arlene Pennington on August 14, 1950, and to this union, two children were born. He farmed all of his adult life on Wapsi Valley Farms and truly loved the land. Feeding and caring for cattle were some of his passions in life, which he was occupied with until the last week of his life. He loved to garden and provide others with produce.

Jim was known for pitching in to help friends and neighbors in need, loved people and appreciated their friendship, as well as a good card game. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and observing wildlife. Earlier in his life, he developed ponds and wildlife plantings and strongly supported conservation practices. Jim will be remembered for being a master story-teller. He read constantly, kept track of the agricultural markets and was involved in many activities.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce; son, David (Lois) Cavanaugh of the family farm; daughter, Candice (Mark) Gardner of Ankeny; grandchildren, Kyle (Torrey) Cavanaugh of Savage, MN, Lori (David) Schmitz of Dubuque, IA, Chris (Mallory) Gardner of Elkhart, IA, Michael Gardner of Ankeny, IA; four great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Catherine (Kiley) and Harry Cavanaugh, six sisters, five brothers, his father- and mother-in-law, Dewey and Audrey Pennington, and brother- and sister-in-law, Gordon, and Jackie Pennington.