DeKALB – Joseph R. Gavin, 90, of DeKalb, Ill., died peacefully in his sleep Friday, April 25, 2014, at Robin's Nest, an assisted living home, in St. Charles.|
He was born Feb. 11, 1924, in Squaw Grove Township, the son of William H. and Gertrude Sauter Gavin. Joe graduated from Waterman High School in 1942. After high school, he attended Illinois Teacher College for two years before enlisting in the Navy. He completed boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Academy and served in the South Pacific during World War II. Joe was an active member of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II throughout his life and for several years served as the secretary treasurer for the Wisconsin chapter.
Joe married Mary Agnes Faivre on Sept. 7, 1946. Joe and Mary owned farms in Prairie du Chien, Wis., and Rochelle and operated the H&R Block income tax franchise in Prairie du Chien for 20 years.
Joe was an active member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Rochelle; St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Prairie du Chien, and St. Albert the Great Church in Sun Prairie, Wis. He enjoyed memberships with the Knights of Columbus, Fraternal Order of the Eagles, and was an active volunteer with the 4-H organization, acting as the auction clerk for the Crawford County Fair.
In his retirement, Joe enjoyed traveling to visit his children and several vacations exploring the United States, model railroading, fishing on the Mississippi River and various activities with the Submarine Veterans group.
Joe was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Anita Marie (Prell) Gavin; nine children, David (Cheryl) of Eau Claire, Wis., William (Martha) of St. Louis, Mo., Peter (Faith) of Richfield, Minn., Marianne (Tom) Anderson of DeKalb, John (Marla) Gavin of Sheboygan, Wis., Timothy (Regina) Gavin of Fremont, Calif., Joan (Steve) Leverenz of Minneapolis, Eileen (Geoff) Ladwig of Chelmsford, Mass., and Eleanor (Al) Travanty of Shorewood, Wis.; 21 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren; and his sister, Veronica Hart, of Mendota, Ill.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Agnes (Faivre) Gavin (died Nov 1992); second wife, Martha (Vincent) Gavin (died June 2000); one granddaughter, Rose Marie Gavin; and two brothers, Robert and James Gavin.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 29, at the Newman Catholic Student Center, with the Rev. Jeremy Trowbridge officiating. Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery, Prairie du Chien, at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 30. The visitation will be at Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 28.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Honor Flight Network and Sisters of Charity. To send an online condolence visit: www.ronanmoorefinch.com.
Arrangements were entrusted to Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home 310 Oak St. DeKalb, 815-758-3841.
Published in Daily Chronicle on Apr. 28, 2014