Thomas Cahape1923 - 2013
Thomas Henry Cahape, 89, of Afton, MI,
passed away at home on October 14, 2013
following a long illness.
He was born on November 10, 1923
to Mamie Trovall Cahape and Henry Thomas Cahape
in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, where he had a happy and rollicking childhood.
He played trumpet with his father in a drum and bugle corps that traveled
to small towns across Wisconsin. As a Sea Scout, he had many
adventures building boats and sailing them on Lake Pepin and other
waterways in. Wisconsin and Minnesota, He graduated from Logan High
School (Lacrosse) in 1939, and went on to General Motors Institute in
Flint, Michigan where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
His studies were interrupted by service in the Army Air Corps during
World War II. He served in England during the war and in the army of
occupation in Japan after the war, where he helped interview Japanese
admirals to map and document naval battles in the Pacific.
After his service and graduation from GMI, he married
Lavina Charlotte Dykman, and began his career and his family. He was
very active in the Michigan Luther League, in various barbershop
quartets, and was a devoted member of the Lutheran Church of the
Ascension in Pontiac, MI for many years. He worked long hours as a
general foreman, and then as an assistant superintendent at Pontiac
Motors during a time when American companies were supplying the
world with cars. He enjoyed his work at the plant and was proud of what
they accomplished. He was an avid reader of history, who loved traveling
and going camping with his wife and four daughters, and had many
adventures, usually involving visiting battlefields, forts, and other
He retired from GM in 1981 and moved to northern Michigan, settling
first on Rainy Lake in Millersburg, where he loved to fish for walleyes,
and entertain his grandchildren, and then moving to be near his daughter
Margaret Grimes and her family in Afton in 1995, who lovingly cared for
him and his wife. For the last two years of his life, his grandson Henry
spent every night at his house, in case he needed help during the night.
Tom was a devoted member of the United Methodist Church in Onaway,
where he was active for many years. He had a strong faith in God, and
loved singing in the church choir and the local community choir. He
recently made an epic trip with his grandson Thomas Campbell back to
England to participate in a reunion of the Army Air Corps veterans and
tour Wales and Scotland. His was a life well lived and he will surely be
missed for his gregarious and loving spirit.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by:
a niece, Kathryn Ray Hawkins,
brothers-in-law William Hawkins, Orie Dykman, and
Eugene Dykman, and
sister-in-law Phyllis Dykman.
He is survived by:
his wife of 64 years, Lavina Cahape; and
by daughters Patricia Hammer (husband Robin),
Margaret Grimes (husband Robert),
Bonnie Campbell (husband Larry), and Beth Cahape.
He is also survived by:
seven grandchildren, Thomas Campbell, Henry Grimes, Silas Grimes,
Charlotte Moellendick, Emily Frederick,
Carrie Rosingana, and Rae Sumihara; and
by two great grandchildren, Parker Frederick and Kenzo Sumihara.
He is also survived by:
his sister, Ella Mae Hawkins,
sister-in-law Dorothy Dykman, and
nieces Rebecca Hawkins, Deborah Little, and Lori Miller; and
nephews Thomas Dykman and Mark Dykman.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on November Ist at 11 a.m. at
the United Methodist Church of Onaway,
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the
Onaway United Methodist Church or the Hospice of the Straits.