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Glenn Garvey

Obituary Condolences

Glenn Garvey Obituary
Glenn Garvey

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, conservationist, and former Oconto Mayor Glenn Garvey, passed away on Sunday, August 24th at the age of 89 in Oconto.

Glenn D. Garvey was born July 3, 1925 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. He graduated from Two Rivers Washington High School in 1943 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served as a B29 Flight Engineer. After the war Glenn met and married the love of his life Lorraine Steckmesser. They were married in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in the middle of a blizzard on January 29th, 1949. They said they were so in love that they couldn't wait for a June wedding. Glenn graduated with honors from UW Madison with a bachelors degree in agronomy and a bachelors degree in soil science.

Glenn and Lorraine then moved to Huron, South Dakota where he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation assisting in their efforts to recover farmland from the devastation of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. In 1954, Glenn was hired by the USDA Soil Conservation Service in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. While in LaCrosse he was elected Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus where he helped to lead their charitable activities. In 1962, Glenn was promoted to District Conservationist for Oconto County and moved his family to Oconto. Glenn truly enjoyed working close to nature and taking an active role in assisting farmers with soil and water conservation practices, which not only improved their production but assisted in protecting wildlife habitat. He would tell his kids that he was an environmentalist long before it was cool.

After retiring from the Soil Conservation Service, Glenn was elected Mayor of Oconto in 1982 and served for three consecutive terms. He previously served as alderman but wanted to do more for the community. As he said to a reporter when he decided to not run for a fourth term, "Being mayor was an honor and a privilege and I've very much enjoyed serving." However after stepping down, he felt he still wanted to contribute and continued to be involved in other community organizations such as the Library Board, the Harbor Commission and various St. Joseph's and Holy Trinity's boards and committees. Glenn loved Oconto, was rich in friends, enjoyed meeting them around town and often had morning coffee with them at the local restaurants.

Throughout his life Glenn had many special interests. In high school he played on the water polo team and was an undefeated boxer in the Army Air Corps. He was an avid painter creating many landscapes and nature scenes. Glenn enjoyed reading, and authored articles for conservation magazines. He loved pheasant hunting, deer hunting, lake and stream fishing and enjoyed teaching his kids the skills. He liked to canoe the backwaters and rapids of Wisconsin and when he retired he continued his outdoor activities with Lorraine whether it was a bike ride out along the bay shore, or cross country skiing through the Machickanee Forest. He loved his family, life, and being close to nature.

Survivors include his loving wife of 65 years, Lorraine of Oconto; daughter Lynn (Steve) LeBreck, Cape Coral, Florida; sons Shawn ( Peggy) Garvey, Oregon, Wisconsin; Dennis ( Kathy) Garvey, Beaverton, Oregon; Paul ( Jacci) Garvey, Suamico; Six grandchildren: Leif (Samantha) Soreide, Davie, FL; Michael Garvey, Seattle, WA; Lars (Lani) Soreide, Pampano Beach, FL; Brian Garvey, Portland, OR; Megan Garvey, Portland, OR; and Caitlin Garvey, Madison, WI; brother-in-law Ronald Feest, Two Rivers; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Roy and Martha Steckmesser of Panama City, FL; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his dear life long friends Jerry and Carol Finn of Oconto who have been a great help and comfort to the Garvey family.

Glenn was preceded in death by his parents: Bill and Evelyn Garvey; his sister, Donna Feest; his sister and brother-in-law, Lila and Bob Pohl; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Ed and Shirley Steckmesser, and Paul and Darlene Steckmesser.

The family will receive relatives and friends at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Oconto, from 9 to 11 AM Friday, August 29, 2014. A memorial Mass will be celebrated 11 AM Friday at the church with the Rev. Joel Sember officiating. Burial will be at the Oconto Catholic Cemetery with Military Rites by Oconto American Legion Post #74. Online condolences may be expressed at www.gallagherfuneralhome.net.

The Garvey family wishes to extend a special thank you to Glenn's caregivers, Kim Karban, Unity Hospice and the staff of Sun Valley of Oconto.

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Published in Oconto County Reporter from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3, 2014
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