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Thomas Benedict "Tom" Gavin

Cedar Rapids

Thomas Benedict "Tom" Gavin, 79, formerly of rural Swisher, passed away Thursday, July 5, 2018, at Living Center West, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, July 9, 2018, at Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Cedar Rapids, located at 2121 Bowling St. SW, where there will be a rosary by Knights of Columbus 909 at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass for Tom will be held Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Ludmila Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, with Father Dennis Juhl presiding. Burial will be held at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Cedar Rapids.
Tom is survived by his wife of almost 53 years, Jan; son, Paul (Traci) of Marion, daughter, Michele Gavin (Rich Freland) of Des Moines, and son, Tim (Ellen) of Cedar Rapids; grandchildren, Trent Gavin, Kailee Gavin (Derek Thomae), Sarah Beck (Brandon Barnhart), Alyssa Beck, Elizabeth Gavin and Kristin Gavin; great-grandson, Connor Gavin; brother-in-law, Robert (Jo) Gordon, Bend, Ore.; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister and brother-in-law, Arlene (Clem) Schulte of Harpers Ferry.
Tom was born in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, on Sept. 10, 1938. He was the son of Benedict and Laurayne (Boardman) Gavin. He was a graduate of Harpers Ferry High School and Loras College. On Sept. 4, 1965, he married Janice L. Gordon at St. Matthew's Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids.
Following his graduation from Loras in 1960, Tom worked briefly for Tubbs Transport Service and Iowa Manufacturing Co. in Cedar Rapids. He then spent the rest of his career at Kwik-Way Manufacturing Co. in Marion (formerly CR Engineering Co.) in various capacities including: assistant to the international manager, assistant to the president, director of operations, vice president, senior vice president and corporate secretary to both the Iowa and Canadian companies.
Tom also was a member of St. Ludmila Catholic Church for 44 years. He served on various committees, taught CCD classes, and volunteered for the annual Kolach Festival, where he probably ate as many kolaches and drank as many beers as he sold.
As a young man, Tom was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and proud to have attended Boys State in 1955. He also served as the Temaque District Vice Chairman of the Hawkeye Area Council. He mentored several Junior Achievement teams and was active on Mount Mercy Scholarshare campaigns for many years, serving as co-chair in 1985-86 alongside his wife, Jan.
Tom devoted much of his life to serving others. Tom was proud to be a life member of the Knights of Columbus Chapter 909. He was the campaign chairman of the annual Tootsie Roll drive for many years and often pestered everyone he could to volunteer their time to the drive. He also was a member of the Prairie High School booster club, where he lobbied and gained support for equipment and sports apparel for the Prairie golf teams. Tom and his longtime friend and hunting partner, Jim Short, were instrumental in establishing the Iowa Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society, where he served as the sponsor chairman for many years at the annual fundraiser auction and dinner. Last, Tom was a Paul Harris fellow in the downtown Rotary International Service Club.
Truly an all-American, Tom was proud of his Irish heritage, but also admitted to being part Chippewa Indian (about 1/164). However, he rarely owned up to being about half French. Our wild Irishman was known to enjoy a good gin and tonic or Walker's with good friends. He loved his family and enjoyed food, especially his desserts where he'd take a "little of each."
He enjoyed golf, bowling, playing euchre and especially sports — Go Hawks, Yankees, Cubbies (closet fan and complainer) and Mount Mercy Mustangs, cheering on his son, Paul, the coach and many players. He was an avid hunter of deer and game birds and had many good times with all his hunting buddies and son, Tim.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to
Dr. Richard Pope, Living Center West administration, nursing dietary and facilities staff. A special hug to Tom's Angels/his caregivers for their support and loving care throughout his stay there.
Memorials may be directed to the family.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.