Albert “Ab” Cava
May 20, 1939 – July 18, 2019
With profound sadness we announce the passing of Albert “Ab” Cava on Thursday, July 18th. Ab was a very special man; a beloved husband, father, Nono, and good friend. He was admired and respected by many.
Born May 20, 1939 to Luigi and Virginia Cava, Ab grew up in the old South End of Port Arthur where he sold newspapers on Bay St. and played baseball and hockey. He was known to be tough but fair.
Ab was a talented athlete, excelling in hockey and baseball, but coaching was his true calling. He was a builder of young men and his toughness, honesty, integrity and hard work were transparent to his players. His mentorship and lasting impact is visible in those he coached, and he maintained strong relationships with many of them over the years.
Ab coached the Port Arthur Marrs through the 1960s, and his 1967 team reached the Memorial Cup finals. In the 1970s, he coached the Thunder Bay Vulcans, Jr. Stars, Case Eagles, Thunder Bay Twins and Little League P.A. Nationals. Ab also focused on hockey at the executive level through the 1980s and 90s. He was the president of the Thunder Bay Twins, Senators and Thunder Cats. This part of his career was recognized with an induction into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. He was also an avid sports fan, with a dedication to the New York Yankees and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ab was a well-known business and community leader. He served on many boards, and his career spanned almost 40 years with Ab Cava Brick and Fireplaces and Thunder Brick. Always a modest and humble man, Ab would say: “I don’t like all the fuss about me.”
Ab’s family and his faith were the most important things in his life. This was inherited from his parents and shared with his children and grandchildren. His youth was spent enjoying many large family functions and he always carried on those traditions. He continued to be close to his extended family throughout his life.
On May 2, 1959, he married the love of his life, Sylvia, and they recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. She has always been the rock for him to lean on and their devotion to each other has been an example for all of us. Ab was an amazing father and role model to his children Rory and Lisa. He instilled in them a profound love for family and friends. He gave his children the greatest gifts a father could give, his love and his time. The absolute joy of his life was his five granddaughters. He was a strong source of support for them, and they adored him as much as he adored them. He taught them the importance of family and hard work and he was so proud of the adults they have become.
Ab was predeceased by his parents Luigi and Virginia, sisters Mary (Louis) and Sara (Bill), brother Frank (Becky, Moira), sister-in-law Joyce Cava and mother-in-law Hazel Jorgenson. Left to remember and celebrate Ab’s life are his wife Sylvia, son Rory (Franca), daughter Lisa (Doug) Dowhos, grandchildren Abby (Russ) Walker, Krista (Chris Viel), Bianca (Sean Gray), Dominique (Scott Cameron) and Carly (Kyler Maki-Garner), brother Jim, brothers-in-law Reg (Dolly) Arnberg and Bruce Arnberg, and his many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The family would like to thank Dr. Stewart Kennedy and Dr. Frank Nigro for their exceptional care and friendship over the years. We would also like to thank the compassionate staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital, particularly Dr. Andrew Migay and nurses Sherri, Denise and Victoria. As expressions of sympathy memorials to the T.B.R.H.S.C. Simulation Education Campaign, the St. Joseph’s Foundation or the Boys & Girls Club
The funeral Mass for Albert Cava will be held on Tuesday, July 23rd at 11:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, celebrated by Monsignor P.M. Stilla with Father Luigi Filippini concelebrating. Prayer service will be offered Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Sargent & Son Funeral Chapel, 21 N. Court Street, with visitation starting at 5:00 p.m. On-line condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.
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