1931 – 2023
Brooklyn – Donald F. Garvais, 91, died Monday evening, January 9, 2023, at Pierce Memorial Baptist Home. Born July 17, 1931 in Putnam,CT. he was the son of the late Joseph and Mazie (Murphy) Garvais.
Don graduated from Tourtellotte Memorial High School in 1949, where he was a guard on their State Championship basketball team. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1953 with a B.S. in Business and Math, and from Babson College in 1963 with an MBA. He was a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Don had a distinguished Army career. He was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, served two tours in Vietnam, taught math at West Pointe, and retired, at the rank of full Colonel after over twenty years of dedicated service. He was recognized for excellence with the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and several other honors. After retiring from the military, he worked at Aetna, Cigna, and ACE insurance companies as a corporative executive. He was most proud of his role as project manager for the Liberty Two skyscraper in Philadelphia.
He led a vigorous life, enjoying golf well into his 80’s, swimming and sailing at his beloved Alexander Lake, and cheering on the Boston Red Sox. He attended his last game at Fenway at age 91. He loved his family, was generous and friendly to everyone and never forgot a birthday.
Don is survived by his children, William “Brad” Garvais and wife Darlene of CA, Elizabeth Golec and her husband Joe of CT, and Geoffrey Garvais of CT; his six grandchildren, Kayla, Claire, Steven, Kevin, Emily, and Abbie; and his former wife and friend Kay, and special friend Nelsa and her family, Carol and Catherine of PA. He was predeceased by his two brothers, Edward and Richard Garvais.
Don’s family thanks the staff at Creamery Brook and especially Pierce Memorial Baptist Home, for the care, kindness, and respect they gave him in the last months of his life.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Don’s family from 9:00AM to 10:30AM on Saturday, January 21, 2023, in the Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT 06260, followed by a Funeral Service at 11:00AM in Living Faith United Methodist Church, 53 Grove St., Putnam, CT. Burial will follow in Grove Street Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to American Legion at (https://mylegion.org/PersonifyEbusiness/Donate#legion-org) For memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.