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Christine Carlson Cavner

Christine Carlson Cavner

July 22, 1946 – September 22, 2023

Christine Carlson Cavner died peacefully surrounded by her family on September 22, 2023 from an extremely rare case of West Nile virus.  She was preceded in death by her parents Jeanne Carlson and John W. Carlson and her two brothers John W Carlson Jr, Kenneth Carlson and sister-in-law Caroline Kensing, whom she loved like a sister.  She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Dennis Cavner, and her two daughters Elizabeth Cavner and Sarah Cavner.  Others include her nephews John W Carlson III, Scott Carlson, Jeff Cavner, niece Jennifer Cavner, sister-in-law Sune Cavner,  as well as ever loving cousins Emily Little and Scott Little. Lastly, she is survived by her two pups: Ruby and Grover that miss their mamma dearly.  

Christine “Chris” Marie Carlson Cavner was born in Austin TX on July 22, 1946, in the original Seton Hospital.  She was proud to be a lifelong resident of Austin.  She received her high school diploma from St. Mary’s Academy in Austin.  Chris attended The University of Texas at Austin where she met her future husband Dennis and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Education.  She went on to teach at the historic Palm School in downtown Austin.  

After her teaching career, Chris dedicated her life to her family, her friends and her community.  She was a member of Impact Austin since its inception in 2004.  The relationships she formed with these like-minded women over an almost 20 year span were invaluable and brought her tremendous joy.  She was also an active member of Social Venture Partners and many other Austin nonprofits.  Additionally, Chris’ work as a volunteer and patron of Conspirare brought her great happiness.  Most recently, she used her experience in grant reviews to help small nonprofits who don’t have or can’t afford a grant writer.  Chris was a longtime active member of Northwest Hills United Methodist Church.

Chris was a loving wife and mother who devoted her life to putting her family first.  Her life was enriched with many dear friends.  She had a special gift for knowing how to make everyone she encountered feel special, valued and loved. 

In 2017 Chris suffered a terrible heart attack and was given the gift of life with a heart transplant.  Her donor was Heather Donnelly, an amazing young woman taken far before her time.  The Cavner family will always be grateful to Heather and the Donnelly family, and to Dr. Clay Cauthen and the team at Ascension Seton Heart Specialty Clinic for their loving care over the past six years.

There will be a Memorial Service to celebrate her life on Friday, September 29 at 10:00 am at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, 7050 Village Center Drive, Austin, Texas 78731.

In lieu of flowers or food, please consider a charitable gift to support our community.  Chris was a devoted volunteer and supporter of many Austin nonprofits.  Because of her love for animals, there was a special place in her heart for the work of AJK Family Rescue.

Here’s a link:

 Or Mail:

AJK Family Rescue

7707 Gault Street, Unit B

Austin, Texas  78757

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