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Ray Wayne Kavanagh

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Ray Wayne Kavanagh, 75, of Bemidji and Tucson, Ariz., died Monday, Sept. 28, 2009, at his home.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the United Methodist Church in Bemidji with Rev. Eric Hucke officiating. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji and one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at the Greenwood Cemetery in Bemidji, with military honors by the American Legion Post 14 of Bemidji.

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Honorary pallbearers will be Gerald Abbott, Dave Anderson, Gary Breitag, Phil Buhn, Butch Froiland, Earl Gangness, Jim Grant, Roger Haire, Ron Krogsrud, DeWayne Kurpius, Jack Luoma, Don Meacham, William Okerman, Dave Pederson, Bruce Campbell and John Davies.

He was born July 7, 1934, to Emerson and Ellen (Johnson) Kavanagh in Appleton, Minn. He graduated from Appleton High School in 1952 where his basketball team went to the State BB Tourney in 1952. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Moorhead State Teachers College in 1956 and his master's degree from Bemidji State University. He married Vera Jean Way June 9, 1957, in Hancock, Minn. He served with the US Army from 1957-1961. He was a teacher, activities coordinator and coach for Benson High School, Roseau High School and Bemidji High School. He was the District 29 Football Coach of the Year in 1975 and Minnesota Shriners North-South All-Star game coach in 1976. He coached the Bemidji High School football team for 14 years with a record of 94-41. In 2007, he was inducted to the Minnesota State University at Moorhead Athletic Hall of Fame as a football and baseball player.

He is survived by his wife of Bemidji; children, Debra (David) Holder of Richmond, Minn., Beth (Eric) Tollefson of Moorhead, Minn., Kent Kavanagh of Bemidji and John Kavanagh of St. Paul; five grandchildren; three siblings, Vivian (LeRoy) Swenson of Appleton, Minn., Loren (Bonnie) Kavanagh of Appleton and Yvonne (Richard) Hagstrom of Alexandria, Minn.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Lucille Brabender and Dorothy Krogsrud.

Memorials are preferred.

Messages of condolence may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.

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