Yale '62 - Obituaries - Arthur J. Garvey

Arthur J. Garvey

Born: January 31, 1941
Died: November 20, 1997

Jerry Garvey was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and prepared at Westfield (MA) High School and Exeter. He was a Psychology major and on the Dean's List. He rowed on the Freshman Crew. A member of Berkeley, he was on the hockey, baseball, golf and crew squads for his college.

After graduation, Jerry served in the Navy. He completed Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island and then earned his wings as a Naval Aviator at Corpus Christi, Texas. He flew A-1 Skyraider attack planes off the carrier Oriskany (CVA-34) during the Vietnam War. Jerry's squadron, VA-152, was aboard Oriskany on October 26, 1966, when a devastating fire broke out on the forward hangar deck which took 44 lives, many in his squadron's berthing spaces. Fortunately, Jerry was up on the flight deck at the time and thus was spared.

On his release from active duty, he worked as a pilot flying commercial aircraft for several major airlines.

Jerry died of cancer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was married three times. He left two children by his first marriage to Ellen: Susan E. born in 1967 and John P. born in 1969. He had no children with his second wife Cynthia. Subsequently, he married Melissa, who survives him. They had a daughter Lexa born in 1991; Melissa and Lexa now reside in Plantation, Florida.

Melissa writes: "The few short years he had on earth were well spent. Flying for a living and golfing to live. He prided himself on completing the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle in 45 minutes - in ink! He purchased the first Macintosh ever made and taught himself everything about the computer. When his cancer diagnosis grounded him, he was made Director of Fight Training for Ultrair and rewrote their manuals on the computer. He also assisted me in my business of technical illustration on the Mac. Together we did contract work for Bendix on the Traffic Collision Avoidance System proposals. TCAS is now mandatory for all airlines.

"When he was diagnosed, doctors gave him eight weeks and recommended full morphine until his passing. Jerry found that unacceptable and opted instead to allow himself to be experimented upon. That courage gave him 25 more months - 18 of which were with full quality of life - in the hopes that our daughter would grow old enough to have a memory of him. She was only four at the time of diagnosis. She was six when he died and does remember him. My pleasure now is watching our daughter blossom. She is in Highly Gifted classes in 6th grade. Her looks favor her father and her sense of humor is definitively his. The years pass with lightning speed, but the heart has no calendar - it is still difficult to speak of him in the past."