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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Glenn D. Garvey

Issue Date: August 27, 2014

Glenn D. Garvey, 89, of Oconto, passed away Sunday, Aug. 24 in Oconto.

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, he met and married Lorraine Steckmesser in Manitowoc in the middle of a blizzard on Jan. 29, 1949. He graduated with honors from UW-Madison with a bachelors degree in agronomy and a bachelors degree in soil science.

The couple then moved to Huron, S.D. where he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation assisting in efforts to recover farmland from the devastation of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and in 1954, he was hired by the USDA Soil Conservation Service in LaCrosse. While there, he was elected Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, helping to lead their charitable activities. In 1962, he was promoted to District Conservationist for Oconto County and the family moved to Oconto. He enjoyed working with nature and taking an active role in assisting farmers with soil and water conservation practices, which improved their production and 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, he was elected Mayor of Oconto in 1982, serving for three consecutive terms. After being mayor, he continued to be involved in other community organizations such as the Library Board, the Harbor Commission and St. Joseph’s and Holy Trinity’s boards and committees. He loved Oconto, was rich in friends, enjoyed meeting them around town and often had morning coffee with them at the local restaurants.

In high school he played on the water polo team and was an undefeated boxer in the Army Air Corps. An avid painter, he created many landscapes and nature scenes and enjoyed reading and authored articles for conservation magazines. He enjoyed pheasant and deer hunting, lake and stream fishing and teaching his kids the skills. He liked to canoe the backwaters and rapids of Wisconsin and after retiring, continued his outdoor activities with his wife, whether it was a bike ride 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 wife of 65 years, Lorraine, Oconto; a daughter, Lynn (Steve) LeBreck, Cape Coral, Fla.; sons, Shawn (Peggy) Garvey, Oregon, Dennis (Kathy) Garvey, Beaverton, Or. and Paul (Jacci) Garvey, Suamico; Six grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Ronald Feest, Two Rivers; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Roy and Martha Steckmesser, of Panama City, Fla.; many nieces; nephews and lifelong friends, Jerry and Carol Finn of Oconto who helped and comforted the Garvey family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Evelyn Garvey, a sister, Donna Feest; a 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 a.m. until time of a Memorial Mass at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 29. Rev. Joel Sember will officiate with burial in the Oconto Catholic Cemetery with Military Rites by Oconto American Legion Post #74. Gallagher Funeral Home of Oconto is assisting the family with arrangements.


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