Troy - Michael Joseph Cahill, Jr., joined his sisters in Heaven on Monday, December 10, 2018, surrounded by his family at his home in Florida. Together with his wife, Elsie, they became the heads of a large and loving family, including son, Michael J Cahill III (Susan Cotner) and their children, Erin, and Alex; daughter Alisa Henderson (Donald) and children, Ann, Jennifer, Ian, Graham; daughter, Linda Forkey (Scott) and daughter, Tara; daughter, Tracey Myers and son, McLaine; son, Scott Cahill (Karen) and children, Niall, Carley, and Kaitlin; and nine great grandchildren.
Following graduation from LaSalle Institute, Joe served in the United States Navy until 1945. Following his discharge, he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and graduated in 1949 as a Civil Engineer. At RPI, he was captain of the basketball team and a starting end on the football team. Joe received his master’s degree in 1952, during which time he was a teaching assistant and assistant football coach. He has been a strong supporter of RPI his whole life and one of his fondest memories was a football game in which he made what was coined by sports writer Johnny Jones as “the greatest catch ever made on the 86 field.” This moment was commemorated with a paver stone during the inaugural opening of the new athletic complex at RPI.
Shortly after he hung up his jerseys, Joe joined his father at Duncan and Cahill Construction. He served as President of the family owned business for over fifty years, even coming in after he retired to offer his sage advice to Alisa and Scott. He loved figuring out how to get things built and paid close attention to even the smallest details for his customers.
Joe was a big supporter of the construction industry and served as President of many Boards, including Eastern Contractors Association, Building Industry Employers, and General Building Contractors. He also supported his community by serving on multiple boards including LaSalle Institute, which honored him with a lifetime achievement award; and Vanderheyden Hall, which presented him with a community service award. Joe also served on the Board of Directors for The Country Club of Troy, where he and his cohorts installed and maintained a rope tow on the 9th hill so that all the children could enjoy skiing and sleigh riding on the golf course.
Joe was a master sailor, owning many different sized sail boats throughout his life. He and his steadfast crewmate, Elsie, enjoyed many years of sailing together. He and family members won the Lake George to Ticonderoga overnight race one memorable summer in 1984.
An avid hockey and figure skating fan, his children and grandchildren were all accomplished skaters. In snow and freezing weather, Joe maintained a huge side yard skating rink at his house, so his sons could play hockey and his daughters could practice their figure 8s, when they weren’t playing hockey with the boys. In addition to hockey, figure skating and watching football, Joe also enjoyed tennis, winning the Doubles Championship at the Country Club.
His faith in God was ever present in his life. He enjoyed religious retreats, taught religious instruction and was a lector at Sacred Heart Church for many years. He was a member of the Perpetual Adoration at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel at St. Paul the Apostle Church.
His golden years were spent playing golf with his ROBs at The Country Club of Troy and enjoying his large family, often commenting to Elsie – “We started all this.”
Joe is survived by his wife, Elsie Harris Cahill, of Methuen, Massachusetts, and his children and grandchildren and many nieces. He is preceded in death by his sisters, Doris Kantor and Helene Fox.
Relatives and friends may call at the Bryce Funeral Home, Inc. 276 Pawling Avenue Troy on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 from 4-7PM.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church 475 Pawling Avenue Troy on Wednesday at 10:30AM.
Interment will be in Elmwood Hill Cemetery Troy.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in memory of Michael Joseph Cahill to the Sacred Heart School Fund.
Sacred Heart School Fund
310 Spring Avenue, Troy NY 12180