Virgil Cavender

Obituary of Virgil Claude Cavender

Virgil Claude Cavender, Jr., (affectionately known as Claude) passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at his home, following a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  He was 78.

Claude was born in Waycross, Georgia in 1946.  He was the eldest child of Virgil Claude and Martha Fann Cavender. 

He was an accomplished scientist and an officer in the United States Air Force.  He received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry and his Master of Science in biochemistry from the University of Georgia.  He was commissioned into the Air Force and enjoyed leading surprise inspections, teaching chemistry at the Air Force Academy and war gaming at the pentagon.  He retired honorably as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Claude was also well rounded.  He loved traveling, cycling and photography.  He pedaled with friends and captured amazing photographs in Italy, France, Spain, our national parks and locally in Virginia. 

But most importantly, Claude was a fighter.  He joined Rock Steady Boxing after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and learned to punch through the illness.  He took up bird watching, Scrabble and walking when the disease made cycling and photography impossible.  He enjoyed visiting with friends at local wineries and roasting marshmallows over the fire pit when walking became tricky.  He kept everyone laughing even after entering hospice.

He is survived by his best friend, Laura Clauser; his siblings: David Cavender, Marguerite Stephens, Rebecca Adamson, and James Cavender; several nieces and nephews; and the Neithamers' sons, Jason and Greg. 

A graveside service will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.


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