Cover photo for Helen Norma Cavanaugh's Obituary
Helen Norma Cavanaugh Profile Photo

Helen Norma Cavanaugh

July 18, 1924 — January 4, 2024

Helen Norma Cavanaugh

Helen Norma Cavanaugh, 99, a retired educator and executive assistant to the President of Union College, Schenectady, NY, passed away on January 4, 2024, at the Regency of Augusta in Fishersville, VA. 

Helen was born July 18, 1924, in Syracuse, NY, the daughter of the late Dennis and Genevieve Lewandowski. 

Helen graduated from North High School in January 1942 and Syracuse University in 1949. She also earned a Masters degree in Education and Adult Education from SU. 

Helen had a great passion for music and singing throughout her life. She pursued a career in opera after earning her Music Degree in 1949. Several years later, she married her husband, Robert J Cavanaugh, and started her family in 1956. Helen continued to sing in various choirs and community organizations. She formed the Nostalgia Notes, a group of senior musicians. They performed for 30 years at senior residences, nursing homes, and community centers.

Another of Helen's passions was travel, which she did well into her early 80s, having visited Israel, Turkey, the UK, Ireland, the Dominican Republic, Poland, Germany, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. She also enjoyed her Summers at the family cottage on Chaumont Bay in northern NY, where she created years of cherished memories with her children and grandchildren. Helen was a woman of strong faith.  She regularly attended church, participated in Bible studies, and attended spiritual retreats.

Her husband, Robert; her daughter, Della Craven; and her grandson; John Michael Grendahl, preceded Helen in death.

Helen is survived by her daughter; Claire (Richard) Grendahl; her son, John (Marie) Cavanaugh; her son-in-law, Tim Craven; her grandchildren, Erik (Abby), Joseph Grendahl, Tyler (Maddy), Kayleigh, Julia Cavanaugh, Colleen and Brett Craven; and her great-granddaughter, Josephine Cavanaugh. 

A memorial service will be held at Henry Funeral Home in Staunton, VA, at 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 14, 2024.

A burial service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery at a later date.

Contributions in honor of Helen's life can be made to the Hospice of the Shenandoah (Hospice of the Shenandoah, c/o Augusta Health Foundation, P.O. Box 1000, Fishersville, VA 22939) or your local SPCA.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Norma Cavanaugh, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, January 14, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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