Robert E. Canavan ’47

WATERVILLE – Robert Eaton Canavan (Spanky) passed away peacefully on June 14, 2015, at Eastern Maine Medical Center. He was born in Waterville on Nov. 10, 1927, the son of Richard and Nina (Corr) Canavan.
Robert graduated from Waterville High School and Maine Maritime Academy and was subsequently appointed to the rank of Ensign in the U.S. Maritime Service. He worked for U.S. Shipping Lines traveling to South America, Europe and Australia.
After his children were born, he left the maritime service to help raise them, working as a technician for New England Telephone and Telegraph for 32 years.
Robert was a devout Catholic and member of Corpus Christi Parish, but loved the peace and tranquility of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel on Sunday morning.
As a youth, he was a regular at the old Temple St. Boy’s Club, and a star athlete at Waterville High School and Maine Maritime Academy. He later played softball in several local leagues and was a life-long devotee of the Boston Red Sox and Patriots.
Robert was a shop steward and Executive Board member of Local IBEW #2327. He was initiated into the Waterville Knights of Columbus, and was a life member of the Waterville Elks Club and Telephone Company Pioneers.
He was a wonderful gardener and spent many hours in retirement grooming his lawn, and growing flowers. He loved sitting in his “happy place” in front of the garage surveying his handiwork and entertaining passersby of all ages. He had an infectious laugh and love of life and will be deeply missed by all those whose lives he touched.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents; brother, and two sisters. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marilyn; his beloved children Linda, Robert M., Kathy, Deborah and her husband Gary Grimmer, Peggy and her husband Jack Sherman; six adored grandchildren, Ashley and Katelyn Grimmer, Camden and Bailey Johnson, Ellyn and Benjamin Sherman; and several nieces and nephews.
A mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 20, at Sacred Heart Church in Waterville. An online guest book may be signed and memories shared at

In lieu of flowers, donations
may be made in Robert’s name to:
Boy’s Town
P.O. Box 6000