Sunset Northwest Funeral Home

6321 Bandera Road, San Antonio, TX


John E. Kavinsky Jr.

August 4, 1934August 3, 2019

Lt. Col. John E. Kavinsky, 1934-2019

Lt. Col. John E. Kavinsky, USAF-Ret., age 85, passed away on August 3. Colonel Kavinsky was born on August 4, 1934 and raised in Youngstown, OH. He graduated from Kent State University in 1956. He served in the Air Force 1957-1977 with overseas duty in Canada, Okinawa, Germany and Spain and several locations in the U.S. including two with the old USAFSS at Kelly AFB. After military retirement, he taught school in the NISD 1978-1993. After final retirement, he was a substitute teacher, traveler, amateur genealogist and grandchildren-spoiler. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Barbara A. Butler Kavinsky; daughters: Laura L. and her husband Gregory E. VandenDries of Los Gatos, CA; Lynne M. and her husband Dr. J. Kavin Kelp of Austin, TX; Lisa J. and her husband Joseph L. Hooter of Boerne, TX; and Jennifer K. and her husband Matt B. Hannifin of Fort Collins, CO; “Bampy’s” grandchildren, Justin D. Hooter, Kendra J. Hooter, Maya L. Kelp, Dominique (Nikka) A. VandenDries, Nicolette (Chloe) M. VandenDries; great-granddaughter Annalee Faith; his brothers-in-law James Butler and wife Norma of Killeen, TX; Michael Butler of Chicago, IL; and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents John and Veronica Kavinsky; his sisters Kaye, Ethel and Jeanne; and his grandson Cory. Funeral details will be available through Sunset Northwest Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Cancer Therapy Research Center – UT Health Science Center (SA) or the American Heart Association.


  • Visitation Monday, August 12, 2019
  • Graveside Service Tuesday, August 13, 2019


John E. Kavinsky Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rebecca Wilson

August 12, 2019

Aunt Barbara and family,

Our love and prayers to all of you. Uncle John was an exceptional gentleman who lived a full and love-filled life.

Mary Weigand (Register)

August 11, 2019

Lynne, I am very sorry for the lose of your Dad. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. What a beautiful life he created.

Mary (Register) Weigand

Jim and Kathy Dowd

August 9, 2019

Barb and Lynn and family. We Thought John was an awesome gentleman and a wonderful friend. He will be missed. Prayers for all of you.

Richard Byrnes

August 7, 2019

The world is now a much lesser place with Uncle John in another place; but we know that Heaven is now a better place with him there. Most of my memories of Uncle John stem from childhood. He planted the seed of my love for aviation on the day on Beechwood Drive when he launched the little model airplane my dad had built for me. And those wonderful trains under the Christmas tree that he set up each year were magical. Always the comedian, I recall his frequent and smiling face. As time and distance separated us over the years I always held him in high regard. Aunt Barb and their daughters were very fortunate to have such a great man in their lives. And thank you, Uncle John for your service to our country. I am proud to be related to a lifetime military officer. May you rest in peace.

Paul Rossbach

August 6, 2019

"Major K", as we called him back then, became the father substitute for the one I left at home when I first joined the USAF, ten days out of college and on my own for the first time in my life. He taught me not only how to be a good junior officer but also how to be a good man, whether I was in or out of a junior officer's uniform. He and Barbara and their four young daughters often welcomed me not only into their home but also into their lives. I cannot relate every instance when John's influence guided my thinking and the paths I chose to take, other than to say they were many, often and varied. RIP Major K, and thank you for everything.

Michael Stone

August 5, 2019

Uncle John was the kindest most gentle hearted man I ever knew. Every Christmas it was a treat to see his miniature train display in the garage. I know it took hours and hours to set it up. He did it for the children and we never forgot. Thank you Uncle John for making this earth better by just being in it for everyone. I pray that our Lord will welcome him into His loving embrace and comfort all of those who were impacted by his life especially his family.

Mike, Lisa, Mandy and Randy Stone