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Cecil Lloyd Cavender Jr. returned to his Heavenly Father on Wednesday, the 1st of July 2020, at the age of 89 in South Jordan, Utah. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. The funeral service will be held at the Camp Williams Veterans Cemetery in Bluffdale, Utah, on Tuesday July 7th at 2 pm MST. Due to the current pandemic, services will be invite only, but will also be made available on the Nelson Family Mortuary website for live viewing, as well as recorded for later viewing.
Cecil was born on the 26th of January 1931, in McAllen, Hidalgo, Texas to Cecil Lloyd Cavender and Dorothy Geraldine O’Connor. Because he was a “junior”, he quickly became Bud, a name which he carried with him throughout his life.
Bud was married to the love of his life, Kay Loree Peterson, on 3 July 1952 in Tucson, Arizona. They raised three children together, Dorothy May, Daniel Lee and Donald Lloyd. After a few years of marriage, Bud and Kay made the decision to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and were soon sealed for time and all eternity to their family. Together they lived in Washington State, Hawaii, Arizona, California, Virginia twice, and even South Vietnam. In July of 2019 they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary.
Bud served in the US Navy. His first ship, the USS Mansfield DD 728, was the lead ship in the Inchon Invasion during the Korean War. A month later, the ship struck a mine and Bud suffered an injury that later earned him the Purple Heart. Bud also served in Vietnam, beginning in January 1962. His family joined him there, and lived among the Vietnamese people until 1964. After tours in Washington State and Hawaii, which included two tours in Vietnam aboard the Navy Destroyer USS Benjamin Stoddart DDG 22, Bud became the Deputy Disbursing Officer of Finances in Central and South America, due to his fluency in the Spanish language. In that role, he spent considerable time overseeing American interests in the Panama Canal. After twenty years of honorable service, Bud retired as a Chief Petty Officer. In addition to the Purple Heart, he was also awarded 14 other medals during his service. He always considered the Korean and Vietnam Service Medals the two closest to his heart. After retirement from the Navy, Bud worked an additional 20 years for Mountain Bell.
Bud held many callings in his Church. He was the first Small Group Leader for the Military personnel in Vietnam in 1962, a calling which allowed him to meet and work alongside then Elder Gordon B. Hinckley while he was still the Area President over the area. He also served in two bishoprics, as a High Priest Group Leader, a Ward Clerk and Financial Clerk several times, and a Stake Missionary. In Bud’s later years, he and Kay devoted a great deal of their time to their family history. He found great passion in studying his heritage, especially after discovering Native American blood in his line. This discovery led them to becoming full members of the Santa Rosa County Creek Indian Tribe in Florida. Bud adopted the tribal name of “Red Bird” to reflect his affinity for the cardinal.
Bud is preceded in death by his parents, and sisters Mary Frances Cavender Crawley and Dorothy May Cavender. He is survived by his wife Kay, their daughter Dorothy Horan and her husband John, and sons, Daniel Lee and his wife Linda, and Donald Lloyd and his wife Cheryl, and their families. He and Kay have been blessed with 11 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and even 3 great-great grandchildren. Bud will be remembered for his deep, enduring love for all around him. He spent his life serving those in need, and taught charity and kindness through his unwavering example. Bud truly lived the life of a true disciple of Jesus Christ, and now finds rest in the loving embrace of his Savior.
His family wishes to express gratitude to Sagewood at Daybreak, and Brio Home Health & Hospice, who cared for Bud in his last days, as well as to all those who have expressed condolences upon hearing news of his passing. We hope that you feel of his gratitude and love for everything you did for him and Kay.