Christopher Kavanagh
1958 - 2015
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Christopher Patrick Kavanagh

March 17, 1958 - August 23, 2015

Chris Kavanagh died suddenly of a heart attack on the afternoon of Sunday, August 23, 2015, after leaving his favorite café in Oakland. He was 57 years old. Patrons of the café came to his aid and paramedics arrived quickly, but physicians at Alta Bates Hospital were unable to save him. His family and friends were shocked to learn of his death.

Chris was born on St. Patrick's Day in Berkeley in 1958. He lived there with his parents and two younger brothers in married-student housing while his father earned a law degree at UC Berkeley. In 1963, the family moved to Mill Valley, and Chris attended Tamalpais Valley elementary school, Edna Maguire Middle School, and Tamalpais High School, graduating in 1976 with honors. At Tam High, Chris played four years of football. He was a star performer in the drama department and played the narrator in Our Town. Chris and his fellow actors won the California State Drama Championship in 1976.

After attending both UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara, where he was a member of the rugby team, Chris earned a B.A. in history from Berkeley. During his college years, he took time out for a European ramble, working for a farmer outside Trondheim, Norway, then picking grapes across the French countryside, visiting Paris, and finally earning enough working in a hotel kitchen in London to travel home for Christmas.

Chris earned his high school teaching credential at San Francisco State University and completed his student teaching at Emeryville High School. His first teaching position was at Gonzalez High School in Monterey County, where he was instrumental in the production of several musicals. Chris also spent time in Japan as an English-language teacher to executives. For the rest of his life-long teaching career, he taught in Berkeley and Oakland.

Chris is survived by his parents, Dennis and Barbara Kavanagh, his brothers Tony Kavanagh (Kristen) and Michael Kavanagh (Anne-Marie), his nieces Jessie and Emily Kavanagh, for whom he was a beloved uncle, his aunts Kris Beall and Kathleen Hilger, his cousin Rigel and her sons J.D. and Jacob, his cousin Ken, and Ken's son Calvin.

A memorial gathering of Chris's family and many friends is being planned for the near future.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Aug. 31 to Sep. 6, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
September 10, 2015

We will miss the generosity of your friendship and our wide ranging conversations. Our condolences to Denny, Barbara, Tony, Mike and the rest of the family.

Rest in peace, my friend.
Steve and Melody Towle
September 9, 2015
Chris Kavanagh was a hero to me. During roughly the mid to late 1990s, between the eras of Dave Emory and Jesse Townley, Chris was practically the lone progressive voice on KALX's airwaves. His show, "An Alternative Media View," was the mouthpiece for KALX's collective political consciousness. To the left side of the radio scan, Chris added a valuable extra 500 watts to corporate free coverage of current issues. His angle was always from the perspective of the disenfranchised. In addition to interview subjects and show topics outside the mainstream status quo, Chris included a segment on every show during which he narrated major stories from the text of international newspapers. The opening melody of John Coltrane's "Cousin Mary" began and ended Chris' weekly evening political magazine and graced every one of his promo spots. To this day, the joy of hearing Trane's "Cousin Mary" is doubled by the memory of KALX's voice of subversion at the end of the 20th Century, Chris Kavanagh.

Peace in eternity, Chris.
William Smith
September 7, 2015
Deepest sympathies to the family. We all grew up together in Tam Valley on Eucalyptus Way. So very sad, and way to young.
September 6, 2015
Dearest Christopher Patrickyes, I know your middle name because I was in a show with you that starred with us all introducing ourselves with our full names. The show was Tom Paine. We were at the height of our high school lives.
We were young. We thought we were smartand we were. Our friend has stories of you and he in Los Angeles with california girls. My stories have to do with the gateway theatre,watching black and white movies. You were eclectic and nonjudgmental
I heard of your passing,but it wasn't until the next morning that I thought of your part in my life. You were creative,and kind. You played a dumb sweet guy in Midsummer Nights area,but you were smart(and sweet). You were diverse.
and,above all,at least at that point in timeyou were a good friend. Safe journey,Christopher Patrick Kavanagh...
David g Smith
September 5, 2015
Chris, I remember you fondly from school. You were one of the good ones! Congrats on a quick passage. I know you are in a very beautiful place now. I'll light a candle for you.
September 5, 2015
Dear Kavanaugh Family, I was very sad to hear of Chris's passing.
My sisters, Ceci and Maria, and I have wonderful childhood memories of knowing Chris' grandparents Pinky and Lou and playing with Chris, Tony, and Mike. I know that Chris will be sorely missed but I pray that God's peace and great memories of Chris will fill your hearts.
Celestina Finkle San Jose ca
September 4, 2015
Bon voyage on your journey to the great universe beyond the stars, Chris--your legacy is a life well-lived. We remember you well from the Tam Valley School days. Our condolences to all your family. The Noren family
Patrica Noren
September 4, 2015
Hey Chris, we will miss you at our bball games. You were always the most enthusiastic player on the court. We will miss you circling around on your bike and having drinks at Barclays. I always told you that was your best pic. Glad to see it here. My deepest sympathy goes out to the Kavanagh family and friends.
September 4, 2015
RIP Chris, you will be deeply missed by all of us who had the pleasure of having you in our lives, it just won't be the same without you. Great picture! Condolences to all your family and friends, I am so sorry.
September 1, 2015
Muffy and Denny there are no words for the sudden heartbreaking loss of a son. Sending heartfelt sympathy to the Kavanaugh Family.
Beth Thurston
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