Joseph Cahill, Jr.
Joseph Cahill, Jr.

Obituary of Joseph Cahill, Jr.

"...'twas Heaven here with you"

 

Joseph James Cahill, Jr.

Loving Father and Grandfather, WWII Bronze Star Recipient, True Gentleman

Joseph J. Cahill Jr., our beloved father and grandfather, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, 25 July 2017. He was surrounded with the love of family and comforted by the prayers of many as he passed through the veil and into the arms of Our Savior.

Friends and relatives may visit on Friday, 28 July from 6:00pm -9:00pm and on Saturday morning beginning at 9:00 am at the Norman Dean Home For Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville, NJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, 29 July at 11:00 am at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 10 Pocono Road, Mountain Lakes, NJ. The Burial will occur separately on Monday morning, 31 July at 10:00 am at St. Gertrude Cemetery, 53 Inman Avenue, Colonia, NJ.

As an alternative to the gift of flowers, donations may be sent in his name to the Wissahickon Valley Watershed or to Valley Forge Military Academy and College Band. Joseph had a lifelong love of music and enjoyed sharing that gift with others; he was particularly proud that his love of music and art expanded through generations of his offspring as his children and grandchildren received recognition for their gifts in these fields over the years. Joseph also often referred to his childhood hometown of Manayunk, PA as “Paradise on Earth”, with the Wissahickon Creek offering Joseph countless hours of adventure and delight with siblings. His love of “home”, nature and music make these two organizations worthy recipients. Donations may be made through www.inmemoryof-memorial.org.

Joseph (Joe) was the first born of seven children to the late Joseph & Marie Cahill.  After his primary schooling, Joe entered the US Army where he proudly served his country during WWII. He served as a Medic in the Pacific in the Philippines and Okinawa, Japan with the 96th Infantry Division. He was awarded the Bronze Star and was honorably discharged upon his return home on 11 January 1946. A product and member of the Greatest Generation, Joe was keenly aware that education and hard work would open doors for him. Under the GI Bill, he pursued his advanced education both attending and graduating from Villanova University and later earning his PhD in organic chemistry from Princeton University. He was the first member of his family to attend college, and not only provided an example for his younger siblings to emulate, but opened doors for them to take.

Upon graduation, Joe landed his first job with Merck. It was there that he and 3 others submitted the patent for Vitamin B12 (synthetic) in 1949. While at Merck, he met a pretty young woman named Margaret Kerrigan; a beauty that captured not only his eye, but his heart. Assuredly, as they courted, he applied his love and abilities with music and intelligence to win her over; and her the same, as she clearly accepted his overtures and reciprocated. They were married in January 1951. Soon, this young couple started a family of their own, raising two daughters, Edna and Margaret (Peggy) in Colonia. Both Edna and Peggy spent their childhood raised in NJ until they reached the age to go to University to pursue their respective educations.

Eventually, Joe’s career resulted in a major move from NYC to Dallas, TX with Hoechst Celanese Corporation. It is in the suburbs of Dallas where he and his wife spent close to 40 years, welcoming the grandchildren each summer to spend time with them and in addition learning many sports that Joe felt taught other life lessons such as “being part of a team”.

Many cherished family vacations followed over the years that saw family members experience various parts of the world. Joe loved to travel and again saw this as an important part of a diverse cultural education of appreciation and awareness.

Joe eventually retired, but being one that could not be idle, he taught Industrial marketing for 12 years at the University of Dallas. As education was always in the forefront for him, there was a time that he felt his mind needed to be “sharpened” and he enrolled in graduate school for music, his first love, because he said, “It was time to be a student again.”. This attitude and the desire to always improve oneself, truly defines a core attribute of who Joe was.

Joe and his wife Peggy were married nearly 60 years. Joe always said he lead a “grand and blessed life.”

It is important to note, that outside of his family and professional accomplishments, Joe was a talented pianist. As Joe reached the ages of 94-95 when he was brought from TX back to NJ to occupy his own apartment in the adult community of St Francis, you would often find him in the lobby, surrounded by his peers, enraptured by his ability to still play music by memory or ear. Sharing his gift of music through the piano was one of his first and last abilities he was able to share.

St. Francis Residential Community was a loving and caring place for him to spend his last days and to celebrate his love of the Lord. He attended daily Mass up until the day he entered the hospital.

Joe is predeceased by his loving wife Margaret; his brothers James, Robert and Michael Cahill; and his sister Rosemary Logue. He leaves happy, beautiful memories to his daughters Edna E. Cahill and Margaret Hessian; his grandchildren Margaret Leigh Yurachek, Brian Robert Yurachek, Kaitlin Marie Hessian, Carleigh Rose Hessian; his dear sister Eileen Donovan (husband Barry) and his beloved brother Harry Cahill; special love goes out to his caregiver Josephine Poole for her incredible love and service this past year and his former caregiver of  nearly 6 years, Jackie Crowe of Dallas Texas; and to his many respected colleagues, friends and neighbors. Joe’s love, laughter, personality and abilities to make you smile will be greatly missed.

 

Grieve not. . .

nor speak of me with tears. . .

but laugh and talk of me. . .

as though I were beside you.

I loved you so. . .

‘twas Heaven here with you.