Friday, 25 June 2010 00:00
Julia Cacavas (born Marzec), mother of Manhasset resident Elena Schietinger and mother-in-law to her husband George, passed peacefully on June 10 at the age of 82.
Mrs. Cacavas, a Buffalo resident, was a graduate of Cornell University, which she entered at the age of 15. She received her degree in psychology. Upon graduation, she worked as a buyer for Gimbels in New York City, where she met her husband, George James Cacavas, of New York, who was a buyer at Macy’s. The couple married and relocated to Buffalo, where they made their lifelong home.
After 18 years dedicated to raising children, Mrs. Cacavas re-entered the workforce as a social worker for New York State and began a 35-year career which she loved. In her profession, she received numerous accolades, but her greatest satisfaction came from the people she helped and whose lives she bettered. Many times, years after she worked with clients, she would receive letters thanking her for turning their lives around and being an inspiration to them. At the age of 65, when most of her peers were retiring, Mrs. Cacavas took a promotional exam for her field and scored high enough to take on a new career path and new responsibilities. She retired, reluctantly, at the age of 76 due to illness, and carried with her the greatest pride and love for her work. She was honored in 2008 by many of her colleagues at an 80th birthday party.
Mrs. Cacavas, along with her late husband, was active in the Republican Party for several decades and served on the League of Women Voters and as a past president of Erie County Republican Women. She was also honored by the party as Woman of the Year in 1978. She eagerly followed the developments of her beloved Cornell University and was a member of its alumnae association.
Central to Mrs. Cacavas’ life were her children. In addition to Elena and George Schietinger and their sons Cole, Grant and Kent, she is survived by another daughter, a son, and seven additional grandchildren, all of Buffalo, New York.