George T. Caccavaro Jr., a beloved husband, father, friend, and devoted public servant, died Feb. 13, 2022, after a fall at his home in Claremont, NH. He was 81.
George was born in Boston on Oct. 24, 1940, to George Sr. and Christine Caccavaro and spent much of his childhood in the care of his grandparents Sebastiano and Serafina and his adoring aunt, Anna Nardo of Watertown. On April 28, 1962, he wed his high school sweetheart, Gail Adams, who remained by his side for the following 60 years.
A machinist turned successful business executive, George was rarely known to sit still. He was a voracious reader and lifelong learner — so much so that the Caccavaro children came to believe (and it was never disproved) that Dad knew everything and could fix anything. There was no personal problem beyond his wise counsel and no mechanical malfunction for which he couldn’t MacGyver a fix. If all else failed, the family joke goes, a well-placed shim would always do the trick.
Second only to George’s love for his family was his deep affection for his adopted hometown of Claremont. He moved his family there from Burlington, MA, in 1972 and immediately poured himself into the city’s civic life, serving first on the Maple Avenue Elementary School PTA, then on the School Board, where he eventually became chairman. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and Kiwanis Club, and from 1983 to 1992 he served terms as a city councilor, assistant mayor, and mayor. He later held the positions of police commissioner and chairman of the city’s Charter Commission.
George worked at Cone Blanchard Machine Co. in Windsor, VT, for 30 years and was business manager of the Mascoma Valley Regional School District for 11. Those who worked with George or appeared before him in one of his official capacities quickly learned to have their facts in order — lest they find themselves on the wrong end of his notoriously sardonic wit.
George was proud of his Italian heritage, and in 2018 he fulfilled a lifelong dream by traveling to Cropani, Calabria, the town from which his grandparents emigrated at the turn of the 20th century. There, he was embraced with great affection by distant Caccavaro relatives he’d never before met.
He is survived by his wife, Gail, and their four children: Denise Ornell and husband Steve; George III and wife Michele; Dan and wife Kim; and Kevin and wife Terri Towle; and by his siblings: Sarah Bernardo and husband Sonny, Jerry Caccavaro and wife Linda; John Caccavaro and wife Michelle; and sister-in-law Vera Caccavaro. He will be dearly missed as well by his nine grandchildren: Lexi and Sam Ornell; Clara and Cole Caccavaro; Anna and Mia Caccavaro; and Natalie, Sebastian, and Simon Caccavaro.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or a charity of your choice.
Visiting hours will be held at the Stringer Funeral Home, 146 Broad St. in Claremont on Friday, Feb. 25 from 2-4 p.m. with a service beginning at 3:30. A reception will follow from 4-7 p.m. at the Common Man Restaurant at 21 Water St., Claremont. The family requests that masks be worn.
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