January 1, 1970 ~ December 16, 2009
James Thomas Garvey, age 89, passed away peacefully Wednesday, December 16, 2009, during a brief stay at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo. Jim was born in Tracy, Minnesota on May 20, 1920. He served 38 months in the US Army Air Force during WWII. During his service he was shot down twice in one week over England. He was awarded several medals, including the Purple Heart and Air Medal for “exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in combat missions over occupied Europe”. As stated in the citation accompanying the Air Medal, “The courage, coolness and skill displayed by this man upon those occasions reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States.” Following his military service, he married the love of his life, Vivian Bernice Montagne, to whom he was married for over 64 years. Together they raised six children. Jim & Vivian set an example of strong commitment to family which has endured for over 60 years. The family regularly gathers to enjoy each other’s company and to renew and strengthen that commitment to family instilled in them by their parents. Jim attended the University of Minnesota and upon graduation went to work for Proctor & Gamble where he rose to the position of Zone Manager. Jim was an active participant in his community, his church and his country. He loved helping others and was loved and respected by all those involved in the organizations to which he gave his time and energy. He was a Past Potentate of the El Zagel Shrine Temple, active in the Shiloh Lodge and played in the El Zagel Band for 18 years. He was the founder of the Shrine North-South All Star football game and served as its president during its initial year. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fargo for over fifty years and served twice as an Elder. Jim loved his Lord and had a deep and abiding faith that carried him throughout his life. Following retirement from Proctor & Gamble after over 30 years, Jim became an active volunteer with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), counseling small business owners in North Dakota. He served as SCORE National President for 2 terms and its National Board Chairman from 1992 – 1994. Jim’s passion was volunteer work and is known for saying “if there is a job with no pay – that’s for me!” He served as North Dakota AARP President, and in 1997 he received the “Golden Rule” Award from JCPenney Co. for his “outstanding service to the community”. During his early retirement years, he and Vivian enjoyed world travel, including trips to China, Ireland, Germany, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands and the Middle East. They loved to study the history of the countries they were planning to visit and then seek out those sites that fascinated them. Living at the Waterford in South Fargo for the past 10 years, Jim and Vivian’s family grew to include the staff and the many friends at the Waterford, who have shown him so much love and care. Jim particularly enjoyed spending summer weekends at Lake Melissa, with frequent visits from family and friends. He was very proud of and found great enjoyment in his flower gardens at the Lake. Jim and Vivian were recently invited to participate in a Northern Valley Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. where they were honored for their military service to their country. He is survived by his wife, Vivian, and their 6 children: Keith (Gail) Garvey, Kay Adams, Kevin Garvey, Kerry (James) Brothers, Kim (Jean) Garvey and Kandy Tyler. Ten grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and his sister, Kathleen Clark, also survive him. Jim loved and was loved by the many family, friends, and people who passed through his life. He lived his life with purpose and zest, and truly enjoyed a full life. We will all miss him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 2025 East River Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55414-3696. Visitation and viewing will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Monday, December 21 at Boulger Funeral Home, 123 South 10th Street, Fargo, ND. A Masonic Service will follow at 7:00 pm. His funeral will be at First Presbyterian Church, 650 Second Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58102 at 2:00 pm, Tuesday, December 22, with friends and family gathering in the social hall following the service.
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