William H. Garvey

July 13, 1927 ~ October 14, 2018 (age 91)

William (Bill) H. Garvey, Jr. passed from this life on Sunday, October 14, 2018 in Springfield, MA. He was cared for and comforted by his two sons—William III (Bill) and John in his final days.

Bill was born in Springfield, MA in July 1927 to William H. Garvey and Elizabeth (Fisher) Garvey. He was initially raised in a two-family home owned by his grandparents on Middlesex Street in Springfield. After the untimely death of Bill’s mother in August 1927, Bill moved next door to live with his Uncle Jeremiah (Jerry) Pierce, Aunt Mary (Garvey) Pierce and their young son Thomas (Tom). Although Tom was five years older than Bill, they developed a brotherly relationship that continued until Tom’s passing in 1979. Bill also had an older sister Mary (Garvey) Allen born in 1922. Mary and Bill remained close throughout their lives, despite Mary remaining in the original household and separated from her brother. Mary and Bill were reunited when their father remarried approximately five years later. Bill also remained close to Geraldine (Pierce) Rzasa (Tom’s youngest sister), even though Gerry was over twenty years Bill’s junior.

Bill attended both public and Catholic schools in Springfield. He attended Cathedral High School for his freshman year, then transferred to Springfield Trade to train as a pattern maker. After completing his junior year in June 1945, Bill immediately enlisted in the United States Navy in a program then known as V+1 (Victory + 1 day). He was assigned to Tinian Island in the South Pacific, but received orders to report to Peleliu Island after World War 2 had ended. Bill remained at Peleliu until the island was secure, then returned home to complete his senior year at Trade.

Bill met his future wife Dorothy (Dotty) Balicki in Winter 1949 while ice skating at Porter Lake in Springfield’s Forest Park. They were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. They were married in April 1951 at Holy Name Church in Springfield.

Bill and Dotty purchased three acres of land in Wilbraham’s “Mountain” section in 1955. Bill was working as a union carpenter and built the family home as time allowed. Bill and Dotty occupied the house before its completion. Their first son (William III) was born in December 1956, followed by John in December 1958.

Bill managed a successful construction business until Spring 1986, after which he accepted a State position as building inspector assigned to Monson, MA. He later transferred to Wilbraham to become his hometown’s building inspector. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1998.

Bill and Dotty remained happily married until Dotty’s passing in April 2004. After Bill’s retirement, they traveled throughout the United States and internationally visiting many different places of interest. Bill especially liked the City of Hong Kong, with its unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures and its beautiful harbor skyline.

Bill’s favorite hobby in life was fishing. He was an accomplished fisherman. His finest moment was hooking a very large Mako shark off coastal Rhode Island. The shark breached, broke the line and could not be landed. However, this event was captured on video, which was frequently displayed to friends and at the annual Springfield Sportsmen’s Show in West Springfield, MA.

Bill is survived by his two sons, Bill of Westerly, RI and John of Wilbraham, MA. Bill is also survived by two grandchildren—Charles Martin Garvey of Westerly and Ashley Garvey, also of Wilbraham.

Family and friends may meet for Bill’s Funeral Mass on Friday at 10:00 am at St. Cecilia’s Church, 42 Main St., Wilbraham. Military Honors will be rendered in the Rotunda of the church immediately following Mass. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Wilbraham Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wilbraham Senior Center, 45 Post Office Park, #4502, Wilbraham, MA 01095.

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