Community comes together to honor former Aiken mayor
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Former Aiken Mayor Fred Cavanaugh was celebrated in a ceremony Monday.
He served as mayor for 24 years before retiring in 2015.
He passed away at his home last week. Monday’s wreath-laying ceremony was at the same place the city honored Cavanaugh with a statue.
The ceremony was packed, showing how much he meant to this community.
Alex Cavanaugh, the former mayor’s son, said: “He was a listener, he wasn’t a very big talker, but he listened to you; he listened to what you had to say and I think this city will really miss him. I know I will.”
While he is proud of how respected his dad was on both sides of the political aisle during his time as mayor, he especially remembers how involved he was with the community.
“He got involved with the scouts, got me involved at that time. That lasted until we were in high school. It was a great thing to be apart of. He was made an honorary eagle scout which I thought was nice,” Cavanaugh’s son says.
Everyone from South Carolina, state senators to City Council members shared stories about his generosity as a fully involved Aikenite.
Flags in the City of Aiken are at half-staff for former Mayor Cavanaugh.
You can see them there as Governor Henry McMaster made that announcement during a wreath ceremony for him on Monday.
Fred Cavanaugh moved to Aiken when he was 15-years-old and was elected in 1991.
Cameron Brotherton with the national prayer committee said, “Lee and Fred for quite a few years were very good to open their home to the national day of prayer committee. we would meet regularly to prepare for each may when we would have the National Day of Prayer.”
While he may not have been born here, his legacy remains through his work and his family.
“They were always so gracious and kind and an active part of the community,” Brotherton said.
Cavanaugh’s son said: “I was honored enough to be his son. He did so much for the city.”
State Sen. Tom Young Jr. spoke on his behalf, saying on Wednesday, state flags will be lowered across the South Carolina at half mast in honor of the late mayor.
Private family services will be held wednesday, and the public is welcome to participate by viewing the livestream at 11 a.m. at www.stjaiken.org.
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