Obituaries » Materno Joseph Cavan

Materno Joseph Cavan

November 20, 2023

Burial Date December 11, 2023

Obituary Viewed 347 times

Materno “Mutt” “Matt” “Grandpa Matt” Joseph Cavan, 91, of New London, CT passed into eternal rest on Monday, November 20, 2023. He was the beloved husband of Fay E. Toohey Cavan who predeceased him. They had been married for 64 years. He was the son of Benito and Maria Dacayanan Cavan who preceded his passing.


Matt was born and raised on the Paia sugar plantation in Hamakuapoko, Maui, Hawaii. He was a talented artist who was selected to the first class, at the private University High School on Oahu, Hawaii. Upon graduation, he joined the United States Coast Guard, landing him in New London, CT. Shortly after his arrival on the mainland, he was assigned to the USCGC Eagle where he had the honor of 2 incredible adventures to Europe.  He met the love of his life, Fay “Tutu” at L&M Hospital after cutting his finger. He was a mechanic for many years with Whaling City Ford and Falvey’s. He worked at Connecticut College in the Carpentry Department for 27 years, until his retirement. He was loved and respected by his colleagues, family, friends as well as the college students.


In the 1960s, Matt became an avid runner, competing in many races including half and full marathons, throughout the country, including Hawaii. Possibly his favorite race was the Mount Washington Hill Climb he completed numerous times. There was rarely a day you didn’t see Matt training in the streets of New London.


He always kept his Hawaiian and Filipino traditions close at heart. He loved playing his Ukulele, singing Hawaiian songs, eating his local foods and sharing the many stories of growing up on the sugar cane plantation. He always brought joy and aloha to everyone around him. As da Hawaiians say, Brada Matt, like talk story.


Grandpa Matt was one of the brightest lights of our Ohana (family). He was a great family man and friend. He loved all of us and got great joy teaching us different skills over the years. Whether that was how to make stove rice in a pot using your knuckles as a measuring stick, the love of music, teaching his sons and grandsons how to change the oil, tune their cars and great work ethic. He will be truly missed, but he is again dancing with the love of his life, Fay, and spreading Aloha for eternity.


He is survived by his sons, Bruce Cavan and Scott Cavan (Lucille), three grandsons: Ryan (Heather), Shaun (Stephanie) and Kai Cavan and two great granddaughters, Olivia and Payton. Matt is also survived by his brother-in-law, Donald Toohey, Jr, daughter-in law, Melissa Mettler, sisters: Edeletrudis (Adele) Mcaviney, Inez Tokashiki, sister-in-laws: Charlene Cavan and Cavan Hiroko (Sandy) Hausen, brother-in-law, Diego Davalosand many nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his brothers: Delfino Cavan, Bonafacio Cavan, Nazarius Cavan, Paulino Cavan, and Custudio Cavan and sisters, Anna Barbara Cavan Bernil (Bert) and Rebecca Davalos, sister-in-laws: Patricia Toohey Barbour (Donald) and Colleen Toohey Will.

The family will welcome family and friends for a viewing on Monday, December 11 from 9 am-11 am followed by a funeral home service at the Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home, 84 Montauk Avenue, New London, CT. Burial will take place immediately following the service at St. Patrick Cemetery in Montville, CT.


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