Leah F. (McCarthy) Cavanaugh, 91, passed away on November 22, 2019. She was born February 16, 1928 to the late Edward and Elizabeth (Shulda) McCarthy. A lifelong resident of West Springfield, she was a graduate of Cathedral High School Class of 1945 and Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Class of 1948. Leah started her nursing career as a medical surgical nurse and ended it as an instructor of nursing arts at the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. While raising her 6 children she continued to do private duty nursing for family and friends. She was a devoted communicant of St. Thomas Church, volunteered at the local senior center and cooked meals for the local soup kitchen. Leah was predeceased by her beloved husband of 55 years John B. Cavanaugh in 2008 and her daughter Mary Ann Putnam in October of this year. Leah is the loving mother of Joanne Ruppen of Southwick and her late husband James, Lee Ann Powell of Albuquerque and her former husband Thomas, Patricia Ilacqua of Charlton and her husband Christopher, Elizabeth Cote of Southwick and her husband John and Margaret Cavanaugh of West Springfield. She also leaves her 11 precious grandchildren; Heather Powell, Joseph Powell and his wife Abby, Dylan Powell, Leah Putnam, Lauren (Putnam) Rossi and her husband Nichols, Nicolas Putnam, Grace Putnam and her partner Devin Whelan, David Ilacqua, Nora Ilacqua, Megan (Cote) Winiarz and her husband Steven, Brianna (Cote) Hardy and her husband Timothy, her 11 precious great grandchildren; Lily and Haley Putnam-Resnick, Faith, Scarlet and Eleanor Reilly, Kylie and Michael Rossi, Harper Whelan, Audrey and Nathaniel Powell and Timothy Hardy. She leaves her dear sister-in-law Shirley Keeler of Windsor, CT and several nieces, nephews and her lifetime friend Ruth Conway. Leah was also predeceased by her siblings Margaret Stewart, Patricia Connor, Geraldine Frazer, James McCarthy, Grace Pashko and Lillian Smith. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Baystate Hospital’s ICU and Palliative Care Unit for the excellent, compassionate care that was provided during her final days. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held SAT 11 AM in St. Thomas Church, 47 Pine St., W. Springfield. Burial will follow in St. Thomas Cemetery. Calling Hours will be held SAT from 9 to 10:30 AM at TOOMEY-O’BRIEN FUNERAL HOME, 1043 WESTFIELD ST., W. Springfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Retirement Fund, 577 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104 or to the St. Thomas School Development Fund, 47 Pine St., W. Springfield, MA 01089
To send flowers to Leah's family, please visit our floral section.