Joseph P. Gavaghan of Vero Beach – Obituary


VERO BEACH – Born October 27, 1920 to Gertrude and Joseph P. Gavaghan, Sr. in Philadelphia, PA. Joe died peacefully on July 12, 2018 at Indian River Estates.

Joe attended Lincoln Prep and LaSalle College High School located in Philadelphia. He married Mary Alvey of Philadelphia on August 1, 1942.

He worked for Reading Railroad and Conrail for 43 years. He retired as general manager of sales at Reading Railroad and coal sales manager for Conrail.

Joe enlisted in the United States Army on the day after Pearl Harbor, became a Sgt., served in the ETO (European Theater Operations), landing on Normandy Beach. He served in five, (5) major campaigns; Normandy, Northern France, Battle of the Bulge, Central Europe and ended up meeting the Russians in Lintz, Austria in 1945. He received several medals including the Bronze Star medal.

After returning home, he had 2 children, J. Patrick of Raleigh, NC, and Marita Schrauf of Village of Lake in the Hills, IL. Pat is married to Anne Ferebee and Marita married John Schrauf.

Joe also had 2 granddaughters, Julie and Debbie Gavaghan of Cary, NC, and 2 great-granddaughters; Sydney and Emily Kalish of Cary, NC. He also had a close friend for many years, Adele Rolly. He was predeceased by his wife Mary on April 9, 1980.

Joe was a member of the Union League of Chicago, Knights of Columbus, VFW, Moose, American Legion, Polish American Club of Vero Beach, past president of the Coal Club of Philadelphia and many Chambers of Commerce.

In later years, he served as constable in Wyoming County, PA and was a volunteer for the police in Sebastian, FL for 17 years.

Arrangements by Ammen Family Cremation and Funeral Care, Palm Bay, 321-724-2224. Condolences at

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.