Mary Cavel appeared to be a typical post-World War II wife and mother. She was the supportive spouse during frequent moves of her husband, a phone company executive. She was the hands-on mother to two sons and three daughters.
“She was a stay-at-home mom — she fancied herself as that, and we say that in her eulogy — but then we say all the things she did. She was very busy,” said her younger son, Dr. W. Thomas Cavel, an Omaha dentist.