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Jerrouldine ‘Maw’ Lavell McMellon Cavanaugh, 86, retired manager of Hanover Seaside Club

Jerrouldine 'Maw' Lavell McMellon Cavanaugh
Jerrouldine ‘Maw’ Lavell McMellon Cavanaugh

WILMINGTON — Jerrouldine “Maw” Lavell McMellon Cavanaugh, 86, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington. She was born Jan. 11, 1933, in Cockrum, Texas, to Calvin Dennis McMellon and Mollie Elizabeth Wood McMellon.

At a very young age, she lost her parents. She and her older brother, Jack, were raised by family. There were many struggles and she overcame because she wanted to make a better life for herself and family. She stated all through her life that Jesus, her Lord and Savior, always made a way and took care of her.

All who loved her called her Maw. Family was everything to her, and she never gave up on anyone. Her words in ICU, “No one left behind, and I love you all so, so much.” She looked after children other than her own. Those children called her “Mama Jerry.” Everyone loved her as a stern, mother figure mixed with just the right measure of kindness and gentleness. She was always more concerned about the well-being of others, especially feeding you.

Maw was a beautiful soul inside and out. She enjoyed music and was a member of the Chickasha Glee Club. She was also recognized and crowned as the homecoming queen of Chickasha High School. She married shortly after high school and began her family. Being a military wife, she began to enjoy her love for travel and history.

She divorced after the first four children. Some time later, she remarried and relocated to Wilmington after giving birth to her fifth child. She applied her many talents and gifts into the workforce while still caring for her family. Her commitment to family and career was of utmost importance. Her career began with waitressing and hostessing. She went on to be a switchboard operator for Dupont for years. Once again, her desire for travel was met by her employment as a photographer. Often, the grandchildren were known to be traveling alongside her.

Her love of family brought her to the decision to return to home base at Kroger as deli restaurant manager. She transitioned again for better opportunity to the Pine Valley Country Club. This is where she met Jean Lawler and was convinced to manage the Hanover Seaside Club of Wrightsville Beach. This position satisfied her soul for many years as she loved on others at the most beautiful place, the beach. She poured into others every day and every moment. The Club is where she definitely helped raise children as they vacationed at their summer home. Many wonderful friendships were made there and from there is where she retired.

Her last physical home was here with her oldest son. She lived out her final days spending time with family and sitting on the porch with Willie, her cat. Anyone who knew Maw, knew she was an avid Bingo player, played many board games (Yahtzee) and card games, and absolutely loved, loved dancing. She was and truly will ever be our joy. We love you, Maw. Well done, faithful servant. We will all be together soon. Until then, rest easy with the angels and Jesus.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, James Calvin Mathews Sr. and Sidney Aaron Cavanaugh; parents; brother; and daughter, Sharon Ann Long.

She is survived by her four children, James C. Mathews Jr., Mollene Smith, Jackie Snyder and Jerroul Wade Cavanaugh, all of Wilmington; and 13 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 11, at Andrews Market Street Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12, at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 6th and Market streets. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, donations made to St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church would be appreciated.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

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