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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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June 5, 2023

2/10/2023 5:29:00 AM
David Francis Garvey

David Francis Garvey died peacefully in his home surrounded by loving family on Feb. 2, 2023, at the age of 83 years old.

Dave was born on March 9, 1939, in Chicago, Ill., to Joe and Eleanor (Thorson) Garvey. He lived in Chicago until 1999 when he moved to Lake Mildred in Rhinelander. He was married to Barbara (Blattner) on Nov. 28, 1959, at Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park, Ill. Dave and Barb were married 35 years until Barb's death on June 22, 1994. They had seven children: Mike, Maureen, Dan, Joe, Ellen, Pat and Monica.

On March 24, 2001, Dave married Emily (Peschek) Burza at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rhinelander, where they lived until Dave's death. They spent their winters at their Arizona home for almost 20 years and summers in Rhinelander.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Gerald Garvey, his wife, Barbara, and his infant grandson, Sean Moran.

He is survived by his wife, Emily, his seven children, Mike (Meg), Maureen (Mike), Dan (Jill), Joe, Ellen (Chris), Pat (Bill), and Monica (Chris), his bonus children, Jennie (Cory) Pepke, Jon (Stacy) Koshak, and Jeremy (Samantha) Koshak. He is also survived by lots of grandchildren and bonus grandchildren, Michael TP Garvey, Dave Balster, Brad (Sarah) Balster, Hannah Grimmig, Patrick (Nicole) Garvey, Greta Garvey, John Pazerkas, Barbara Stewart, Matt Stewart, Paul (Sara) Rickman, Ellie (Cullen) Rickman, Oscar Moran, Phoebe Moran, Kessa Pepke, Charlie Pepke, Troy Esker, Sabina Pepke, Colton Koshak, Erica (Josh) Koshak and Noah Koshak.

He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Wyatt Grimmig, Gunner Lee, Emma Balster and Mason Balster.

Dave is further survived by his siblings: Nonie (Don) Thomas, George (Geri) Garvey, Judy (Michael) Garvey, Peg (Don) Cox. In March 2020 the family started weekly Zoom calls. These calls were a real highlight with Dave.

Dave attended school at Our Lady Help of Christians and completed his education at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.

Dave's work life was in Chicago. He was so proud to be a 3rd generation plumber serving 50 years in the Chicago Plumbers Union Local 130. He began his plumbing career working for Duke Gawne and that is where he apprenticed. After taking the civil service exam, he worked for 28 years at Cook County Jail in Chicago. He retired as an inspector in Unincorporated Cook County.

Dave loved life! His favorite saying was "Life is Good" and he lived that to the fullest. He loved fishing, coming to the family cottage on Lake Mildred, bicycling, hiking, traveling, golf, stained glass, all kinds of music, dancing, and cruising. He deeply loved all of his family, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his bonus family. He always had a funny story for anyone he'd meet.

His Arizona time with Emily was so special to him. He had so many friends there and he led a very active life. At age 60 a new friend in Arizona taught him how to golf. As luck would have it, Dave got a hole-in-one on one of his first times at a golf course. The big joke was that he got a hole-in-one before he ever got a par!! He was so proud to be a member of the Bogie Boys golf group where he made lifelong friends with many of them.

Dave will be missed by so many people.

The visitation for Dave will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 235 N. Stevens Street, Rhinelander, from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. memorial service. Rev. Tim Vadis will officiate.

Inurnment will be private and will take place at a later date in the Newbold Cemetery.

The family has requested donations to the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry or the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing (NATH) as an expression of sympathy in lieu of flowers.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

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