Louise Gertrude (Wolf) Garvey, age 93, died peacefully in Appleton, Wisconsin, on May 12, 2023.
Louise was born in Hibbing, Minnesota on August 7, 1929, a proud "Iron Ranger" all her life. Louise attended Catholic grade school in Hibbing, and her first two years of high school at Stanbrook Hall, a boarding school in Duluth, where she was elected president of her freshmen class and made lifelong friends. She returned home and graduated from Hibbing High School.
After attending Hibbing Community College, Louise transferred to Saint Catherine University, and graduated in 1951 with a degree in social work. With two Hibbing friends, she headed to Oahu, Hawaii, working as an executive director for the Girl Scouts and curator for the Bishop's Museum. Returning to the mainland, Louise worked as a child welfare worker for Catholic Social Services in Winona, Minnesota.
Louise met James E. Garvey on a blind date and they were married on August 13, 1955, in Winona, with the Most Reverend Edward Fitzgerald, Bishop of Winona (and Louise's former boss), officiating.
Louise and Jim moved to Eau Claire where Jim joined a private law firm. Louise and Jim had 7 children, all graduates of St. Patrick's School and Regis High School. They enjoyed family vacations on Gull Lake in Minnesota, cheered at their children's football, softball, basketball, baseball, and volleyball games and track meets, and attended their music concerts and horse shows. Louise and Jim also travelled, including a trip to Russia as part of the "People to People" tours in the 1970s.
Louise loved to celebrate birthdays and holidays and to entertain. She also loved to fish and joined the Women Anglers of Minnesota. In the early 1980s, Louise and Jim bought a cabin on Grindstone Lake near Hayward. The guestbook shows the scribbles and then signatures of 9 grandchildren, as well as in-laws, friends, and guests.
Returning to her career as a Social Worker in 1987, Louise served as the Older Woman's Advocate, Elder Abuse Program Coordinator, and then Elder Abuse Specialist at Bolton Refuge House. Louise retired in 2012, proud to have been the oldest licensed and working social worker in Wisconsin.
She moved to Appleton in 2015, living independently until 2021. At that point, she moved into an assisted living apartment.
Preceded in death by husband Jim, Louise was predeceased by her parents, Frances M. (Checco) and Joseph E. Wolf, and brother, Joseph "Joey" Wolf.
Louise is survived by 7 children, 9 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren: daughter Mary and husband Kent Verrill, and their children, Nicole (Matt Berntsen), Anthony (Allison), and Sean; daughter Cathy and husband Bill Stoner, and their children Will (Mollie McCarthy) and son William III, and Cassie (Bill Pinel) and daughters McKayla and Isabella; daughter Ann and spouse Teresa Askew; son James and wife Lori, and their children, James (Marissa) and their children James V and Charlotte, and Michael; son John and wife Linda; daughter Nancy and husband Jim Nesbit, and their children, Maggie and Sam; and daughter, Beth and husband Jim Beversdorf. Louise is also survived by sisters Bernadette (William) Janz and Margaret Stark, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Family profoundly thanks Willow Lane Assisted Living of Appleton and Compassus of Green Bay for their attentive care and assistance to Louise.
In lieu of flowers, individuals can honor Louise with donations to Bolton Refuge House P.O. Box 482, Eau Claire, WI, 54702, or online at www.boltonrefuge.org or Sacred Heart of Jesus - St. Patrick's Parish,448 N. Dewey Street, Eau Claire, WI, 54703 or online at www.shspec.org For online contributions, please indicate in memory of Louise so the family can thank you.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, May 24, 11 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 316 Fulton Street, Eau Claire WI, 54701 with Father Antony Joseph officiating. Visitation one hour before the mass, with burial at Calvary Catholic Church Cemetery, Eau Claire. Arrangements made by Lenmark -Gomsrud-Linn Funeral and Cremation Services. Online condolences may be left for Louise's family at www.lenmarkfh.com.
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