February 13 2017

Obituary: Charles Joseph Cavalier, WWII Veteran and Burlington's First Veterans Agent, 88

A man with a long history of service in the Burlington community passed away this past weekend.


Charles Joseph Cavalier, a World War II veteran and Burlington’s first Veterans Agent, passed away in his Billerica home on Saturday, February 11 at the age of 88.


Cavalier was also an Assessor for the town, coached basketball for the Burlington Recreation Department, was very involved with St. Margaret’s Church and was a founding member of the Burlington Knights of Columbus.


Here is his full obituary from Sullivan Funeral Home:


Charles Joseph Cavalier, a retired salesman for Coca Cola Company and active in Burlington’s politics, youth sports, church, and charitable organizations passed away peacefully at his home in Billerica on Saturday morning, February 11, 2017. He was 88 years old.


Charlie was born in Boston, the oldest of four children born to Charles and Gertrude Cavalier. He grew up in Jamaica Plain and was a graduate of Hyde Park High School. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the US Coast Guard. He served during the final year of World War II. He held the rank of Fireman First Class and was discharged in April of 1947.


After his Coast Guard Service, Charlie went to work as the Assistant Manager of the First National grocery store in West Roxbury. He then became the Manager at Belmont First National. He made several other career moves working for Diversey and Carnation until he took a position with Coca Cola in their Fountain Sales Division. He worked in the Fountain Division for 30 years selling fountain equipment and supplies to restaurants, stores, and entertainment facilities. Over the years his territories varied from Western, MA, Worcester, Maine, Boston, and in the end of his career all of New England. Along with the equipment and supplies, he took care all the ancillary items as well for his customers such as glasses, signage, and promotional items. He loved the interaction with all his clients and his clients knew that Charlie had their back whether it was an emergency maintenance call or delivery. His job did have some perks such as he had a collection of Coca Cola memorabilia including signs, glasses, his own soda fountain in his basement for his kids and their friends. Fenway Park was one of his clients, so Charlie would bring his kids to help him test the equipment at the ball park the day prior to Opening Day. He was also recognized numerous times for sales goals winning trips to Hawaii, Marco Island, and other destinations.


Charlie was a man of deep Catholic faith. He went to church daily. When he moved to Burlington in 1955 he quickly became involved at St. Margaret’s Church. He was a member of the church’s Mr. & Mrs. Club, taught CCD, headed the CCD, and was an Eucharistic Minister since its inception, and lecturer. He also was an active member of his church in Ellenton, Florida where he spent his winters for many years and at St. Theresa’s Church in Billerica, where has lived for the past 20 years. He lived his faith every day and it gave him comfort to know that he would be reunited in Heaven with his beloved wife “Lee” at the time of his passing.


Charlie was very involved in all his communities as well. He helped start the CYO Basketball program at St. Margaret’s Church. He coached basketball for the Burlington Recreation Department. He was the first Veterans’ Agent for the Town of Burlington. He served as an Assessor for the Town of Burlington. He was involved in many of the political campaigns in Burlington and acted as campaign chairperson for Al Wilde, Sr., Charles Shea, & David Sullivan when they ran for Selectmen and State Senator. He was a founding member of the Burlington Knights of Columbus in Burlington. He was a Third and Fourth Degree member of the K of C and volunteered in the Exceptional Children Committee, Bingo, numerous fundraising events, and attending the many socials with his wife.


When you talk about Charlie, one must always talk about his devotion to his family. After his discharge from the service he met his wife Lee and they were married in 1949. They settled in Burlington in 1955 and raised their four children. He enjoyed their retirements wintering in Florida. He was an incredible role model for his children. They saw his strong faith, family first mantra, being proactive, and being a person of real substance. He set high standards and expectations for his children. He cherished his role of being a grandfather and great grandfather. He made each grandchild feel special and loved. There were many vacations to New Hampshire with the grandchildren. He was so proud of them and each held a special place in his heart.


Charlie was the beloved husband of the late Rosalie F. “Lee” (Foley) Cavalier. He was the loving father of Kathleen Wagner & her husband Bruce of Cumberland ME, Stephen Cavalier & his wife Joan of Burlington, James Cavalier & his fiancée Lucy Marroquin of Somerville and Christopher Cavalier & his wife Carol of Billerica. He was the brother of Claire Foley of Arlington, Ann McIntosh of Debary, FL and David Cavalier of Chelmsford. He was the proud “Gramps” of Melissa Giusto, Nicole Flynn, Brendan, Lauren, Adam, Bryan, Colleen & Meghan Cavalier and great grandfather of Jillian Giusto and Madeline & Henry Cavalier.

Funeral from the Edward V Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt., 128/95 Woburn side) on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 9:30 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Theresa’s Church at 10:30 a.m. Visiting hours Tuesday 4-8 p.m. Interment in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Charlie’s name may be made to St. Theresa’s Church, 466 Boston Rd., Billerica, MA 01821.


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