MICHAEL JOHN GAVIGAN
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved husband and father, Michael John Gavigan. Michael passed away peacefully at home on January 6, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.
Born on December 5, 1955, Michael resided in Vineland, New Jersey before moving to The Villages, Florida in 2010.
He is preceded by his parents, John and Margaret Gavigan. Michael is survived by his wife of 33 years, Jacqueline; children, Ryan and Elizabeth; grandchildren, Ava and Patrick; siblings, Marge (Dennis) Banks and Kevin Gavigan; godmother, Lois Gavigan; and special in-laws, Sandy and John Asselta.
Employed as a supervisor at the Vineland Developmental Center for 32 years, he was also active in his community and enjoyed volunteering with the Special Olympics and Boy Scouts of America Troop 36.
Michael had many interests. He loved to read, appreciated fine wine, and was a jazz enthusiast, especially the music of Dave Brubeck, Maynard Ferguson, and John Klemmer. In 1986, his love of jazz led him and Jacqueline to the King of France Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland, where he met clarinetist Kenny Davern. Kenny signed a copy of his album with the quote “Get the best years.” This phrase remained Michael’s personal motto for the rest of his life.
Fascinated by lighthouses, Michael and Jacqueline planned their 1987 wedding atop a World War II army bunker on the beach in Cape May Point with its lighthouse as the backdrop. Over the years, visiting lighthouses remained a mainstay for numerous seashore vacations.
Michael looked forward to early retirement and moving to The Villages in 2010, where he immediately immersed himself in an active lifestyle. He most enjoyed the relationships he forged with friends and neighbors with whom he golfed, fished, and played water volleyball.
Retirement also meant more time to travel…and travel he did. With Jacqueline as the navigator and Michael behind the wheel on several cross-country road trips, they visited America’s National Parks, wineries, and U.S. Presidential Libraries. Michael’s travel also included trips abroad, including Ireland. He was particularly proud of his Irish heritage and visited County Mayo where his Gavigan ancestors originated from.
One thing is certain, Michael surely enjoyed life and “Got the best years.”
A private funeral service will be held at a later date.
Our family extends our heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Jennifer Cultrera for her unwavering guidance and support.
Donations in remembrance of Michael may be sent to SOZO Kids (19186 NE 13th Street, Silver Springs, FL 34488 or sozokids.org). SOZO Kids provides assistance to impoverished children who live in the Ocala National Forest.