OBITUARY: Mary Brann Cavin

Mary Brann Cavin

We mournfully announce the passing of Mary Brann Cavin, 72, of Gallatin, TN who passed away July 16, 2021 after a courageous battle with a Glioblastoma brain tumor.

Mary was born on August 12, 1948, to James W. and Wanda M. Brann in Martin, Tennessee. Mary attended grammar school in Dresden, Tennessee before moving to Whitehaven, Tennessee where she graduated from Whitehaven High School in 1966. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Tennessee at Martin graduating in 1970 with a degree in Home Economics.

Mary met a young man when she was 12 years old at a Methodist Youth Fellowship outing at Paris Landing, Tennessee. That young man, then 13, would reconnect with her when she attended the University of Tennessee at Martin. Mary and Dennis were married on 31 August 1968 and began a nearly 53-year journey of dedicated love and caring.

Mary followed Dennis around the world during his 34-year military career. Their daughter Brandie was born on their first overseas assignment in Germany. As Dennis progressed in rank and responsibility, Mary was always the consummate first lady. When in command positions, Mary focused her attention on the families of the Soldiers Dennis led. She was ever-resilient in her stamina, persistence, and patience even for a lady who said she never wanted to be the wife of a general. But when that challenge came, she was the epitome of a gracious lady without being a bit pompous or high falutin. Mary was a master communicator with her kind and radiant personality. She was equally at ease talking to the spouse of a Private, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or a former President of the United States. One of her greatest pleasures was knowing she had positively impacted everyone she met and was loved far and wide.

Mary’s professional career began as a bookkeeper for several construction companies and culminated as a budget analyst for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She also substitute taught high school and middle school classes in Germany and El Paso, Texas.

During their nearly 53-year marriage, Mary moved the family 23 times. She was twice a breast cancer survivor, surviving the first encounter for more than 42 years.

Mary enjoyed reading Westerns, camping in their RV, playing Sudoku, doing crossword puzzles, and loving on her cats and dogs. Although not a master gardener, she kept every home they occupied filled with a multitude of plants and flowers. She received great joy playing Dominoes with her family, especially grandsons Landon and Riley.

Mary was preceded in death by her father James W. Brann. She is survived by her mother, Wanda M. Brann, the love of her life husband, LTG (Ret) Dennis D. Cavin, daughter, Brandie (Jason) Cole, two grandsons, Landon (14) and Riley (13), sisters, Jennifer (Elzie) Ellis, Becky Caughron and an extended family of cousins, nieces, and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, July 20, 2021 at Hendersonville Memory Gardens and Funeral Home, 353 E Main St, Hendersonville, TN 37075, and July 21, 2021, at 10 am until service hour at Hendersonville First United Methodist Church, 217 E Main St, Hendersonville, TN 37075, followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 11 am. Interment will follow at Hendersonville Memory Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the National Breast Cancer Coalition, Gallatin Children are People or the Hendersonville First United Methodist Church.

The family extends a special debt of gratitude to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit nurses and doctors for their exceptional care. We also want to acknowledge the support of CARIS Health Care (Hospice) and two wonderful caregivers who made Mary’s last days so special–Ms. Pamela Keller and Ms. Latysha Fonville.

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