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David Canavera

May 17, 2008
Daily News
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. - After a courageous struggle with cancer, David Stephen Canavera, 64, of Summerville, passed away on Monday, May 12, 2008, in Charleston, S.C.

Dave was born on Sept. 4, 1943, in Norway, the son of the late John Joseph and Ann (Molinare) Canavera.

Throughout his life, Dave remained attached to his native Upper Peninsula and proud of his Italian heritage. He was educated by Christian Brothers at Holy Name High School in Escanaba, and received his B.S. in forest management at Michigan Technological University in 1965. In 2003, as an alumnus, Dave returned to Michigan Tech to be inducted into the Honor Academy for the School of Forestry and Environment in honor of his distinguished career. Dave completed an M.S. and Ph.D. in Forest Tree Improvement in 1969 at Michigan State University.

Beginning his career in the Peace Corps, Dave taught at Brazil’s National School of Forestry, and then taught at Tuskegee University and the University of Maine. Following that, Dave spent more than 27 years working for the Westvaco Corporation in forest research.

Dave always put family life first. A devoted husband, Dave enjoyed attending cultural and sporting events with wife, Nancy. He gave his heart and soul to raising his children, remaining a constant source of steadfast support and gentle advice.

The moments he relished the most were annual trips to the U.P., especially trips he was able to make during deer season, which he spent with family members at a lakeside camp that he helped his father to build in the 1950s. At the camp, he loved being surrounded by his extended family: his sister, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews-in-law, cousins, and great-nieces.

Dave’s memory will be cherished by his survivors, his wife of 39 years, Nancy Barbara Canavera; sons, Gregory Michael Canavera of Cambridge, Ma. and Mark Christopher Canavera of Man, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa; daughter, Kristin Elizabeth Canavera of Blacksburg, Va.; sister, Carol (Michael) Mileski of Negaunee; sisters-in-law, Elaine Nelson and Carol (Michael) Morris of Traverse City, Mich.; nieces and nephews, Lorie (Scott) Pirkola, Lynn Mileski, Karen (Chris) Beaulieu, Ann (Dan) Delong, Sean Morris, Scott Nelson, Bethany (Howard) Rubin; great- nieces, Maria and Marti Pirkola, Liesl Flannery, Samantha and Natalie Beaulieu, and Arianne and Sienna Rubin; aunts, Betty Molinare of Lansing, Mich., Stella Pellegrini of Vulcan and Margaret Canavera of Norway.

He was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Donald Nelson.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, May 22 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Norway, with Fr. James Roetzer, presiding.

Interment will follow at the Norway Township Cemetery.

Condolences to the family of David Canavera may be expressed online at

Arrangements announced by the Miner-Ortman Funeral Home in Norway

At Dave’s request, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), 2141 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 7000, El Segundo, Calif., 90245, or


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