Cover photo for Thomas Edward  Cavanaugh Sr.'s Obituary
Thomas Edward  Cavanaugh Sr. Profile Photo
1951 Thomas 2022

Thomas Edward Cavanaugh Sr.

October 30, 1951 — August 22, 2022


Thomas Edward Cavanaugh Sr., (70) of Layton, Utah, returned peacefully to his Heavenly Parents on August 22, 2022, surrounded by his loved ones.

Tom was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. Born in East Chicago, Indiana on October 30, 1951, Tom is the son of Edward Boniface Cavanaugh and Elizabeth Jo Schaffer. He is the second oldest of eight children.  As a teenager, Tom had several jobs, always earning his own money. He delivered newspapers, shoveled snow, mowed lawns, caddied at the local Country Club and managed a chicken restaurant.

He was quite the athlete and enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, football, and water skiing with his cousins. Later in life he indulged his wife and played pickleball!

As a young boy, Tom was gifted with a spiritually sensitive mind and heart and always sought to be close to God. Raised in the Catholic faith, Tom enjoyed attending mass. His spiritual curiosity led him to briefly enroll in the Catholic Seminary during High School and continue to build on his faith.

At the age of 20, Tom joined the United States Air Force where he served from 1971-1975 in Wiesbaden Germany as a Personnel Specialist. Prior to leaving for Germany, Tom was stationed in Biloxi Mississippi for Basic Training. During his time in Basic Training, Tom met a returned missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Intrigued by this young man’s gesture to offer a silent prayer over a meal, Tom spent that evening learning about his faith. Two weeks later he was baptized. It was then that he gained a lifetime love for The Book of Mormon. He devoted much of his time to reading, studying, and preaching from its pages. His legacy includes a firm witness to his family that he knew it to be true.

After his discharge from the Air Force Tom attended Brigham Young University where he met his sweetheart, Colleen. His ward bishop called him into his office one Sunday and asked if he would like to serve a mission.  Thinking he was too old to serve at 24, he was thrilled to find out he could go and was called to serve in the San Jose, Costa Rica Mission from 1977-1979. The first two years of his nine years of missionary service.

Upon returning home, Tom was married to Colleen (who had waited and wrote to him for two years) on

March 10, 1979, in the Los Angeles Temple. Tom and Colleen celebrated their 43rd anniversary this year. They were blessed to raise five amazing children.

Tom loved learning. He graduated from the Pasadena College of Chiropractic where he received his Doctor of Chiropractic/Orthopedist degree.  He owned and worked his practice in Folsom, California for 11 years. He was also heavily involved in supporting and sponsoring several of the community clubs, sports teams, and other activities. One that was particularly dear to his heart was the Folsom Rodeo that took place over the July 4th holiday each year. His love for learning extended to building an extensive library of religious and secular books.

Tom and Colleen were called to serve as Mission Leaders over the Colombia Barranquilla Mission from 1995-1998, taking with them their five children.  Tom loved sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He felt that God puts people in our path for us to open our mouths and share what we know to be true. They also served as Leaders in the Colombia Bogota Missionary Training Center from 2009-2011 and as Executive Secretary/companion for the Area Presidency in Lima Peru from 2011-2013. While serving in Lima they were also asked to serve in the MTC for six months. Tom loved serving with his wonderful, eternal companion Colleen and felt blessed to be part of the gathering of Israel in that region of the Lord’s kingdom.

In addition to his love for his beautiful and precious family, Tom loved to read, fish, and go on adventures with his best friend Colleen. He was both a fisherman and a fisher of men. He had a strong testimony of The Book of Mormon and a deep love for his Savior. He loved people and did not hesitate to share the Gospel with those he met.

For the past nine years, Tom worked in the Mission Department for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an Infield Representative.  He loved continuing his service with Mission Leaders and missionaries across the world.

Tom is survived by his wife Colleen, their three daughters Christina (Ryan) Jackman, Cameron (Ben) Graham, Crystal (Jordan) Hillam, and their two sons Tom Jr. (Aubrey) Cavanaugh, and Tim (Jen) Cavanaugh as well as 17 beautiful grandchildren. Tom is also survived by his mother Elizabeth Jo Schaffer and four sisters Mary Jo Jackson, Lori Cavanaugh, Jean Cavanaugh, and Patty Cavanaugh.

A viewing will be held Thursday evening August 25th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Russon Mortuary located at 1941 North Main, Farmington, Utah.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. August 26, 2022, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints chapel building located at 789 Wasatch Dr., Layton, Utah.  A viewing will also be held Friday morning at the chapel from 9:45-10:45 a.m. prior to the services.

Tom will be laid to rest in the Provo City Cemetery located at 610 South State Street, Provo, Utah at 1:30 p.m.

Funeral Services will be streamed live from the chapel for all those interested using the following link:

Webinar ID: 948 6227 8002

International numbers available:

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, August 26, 2022

9:45 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

789 Wasatch Dr, Layton, 84041

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, August 26, 2022

Starts at 1:30 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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