Remembering Delmar Jarvis

Delmar Jarvis

 Obituary

Delmar L. Jarvis

July 4, 1922 – March 12, 2016
Resided in Massillon, OH

Delmar L. Jarvis, age 93 passed away on Saturday, March 12, 2016. He was born on July 04, 1922 to the late William and Jesse (Craigo) Jarvis. He married Arlene Wiandt on March 01, 1941 and they just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Delmar was a Warehouse Superintendent for McLain Grocery until his retirement. He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. He was active in Freemasonry and was active with Clinton Lodge #47, Scottish Rite-Valley of Canton, The Massillon Shrine Club, York Rite- Hiram Chapter #18, Massillon Commandery #18 and Canton Council #35. Delmar was a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award with the Scottish Rite and he was a member of the Massillon Football Boosters Club.

Delmar is survived by his wife Arlene; his sons Keith (Betty) Jarvis, Kenneth (Jeannine) Jarvis and Joel (Sandi) Jarvis; his grandchildren Keith W. Jarvis, Elizabeth (Jack) Jarvis-Whitehouse, Allison Hiser, Amy (Jeff) Tillar, Ashley Jarvis, Matt (Kelly) Jarvis, Corey (Lindsay) Jarvis, Brandon Jarvis and 11 great grandchildren; a sister Wilma Mae Levengood, as well as a host of relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, Delmar was preceded in death by his sister Frances Davidson and a brother Wayne Jarvis.

A Celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 11a.m. at the Paquelet & Arnold-Lynch Funeral Home in Massillon. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m. and 1 hour prior to the service. Masonic Service to be held on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Donations in Delmar’s memory can made to Harbor Light Hospice. 25 S. Main Street, Suite 7, Munroe Falls, OH 44262 http://www.arnoldlynch.com.

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Memories of my Grandfather

March 16, 2016

by Matt Jarvis

Good morning. My name is Kelly Jarvis and I am reading this for my husband, one of Delmar’s grandson’s, Matt Jarvis.

My grandfather lived a life that was full of pride, joy and happiness.  He had a very successful career, was a member of the United States Navy, was very active in Freemasonry and was active with Clinton Lodge #47, was a member of the Massillon Shrine Club, was a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award with the Scottish Rite, was a member of the Massillon Football Boosters Club, and the list goes on and on and on.

On March 1, 1941, he married my grandmother, Arlene, and amazingly enough they just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary just over two weeks ago.  After marriage they had three sons, Keith, Ken and my father, Joel.

My grandpa’s generosity, work ethic, humility and selflessness are all qualities that I admire him for, and qualities I myself aspire to.

The oldest of three boys, I have so many memories of Grandpa Delmar that I don’t even know where to start.  But I have to start somewhere, so here we go, in no particular order:

  • One of the fondest memories and one I’ll never forget are the two summer vacations that just Grandpa and I took to Fayetteville, North Carolina and Las Vegas. I played AAU basketball in high school and we made it to consecutive National Championships. While my parents probably would’ve made it work to take me, Grandpa generously volunteered and before I knew it we were road tripping down to North Carolina one summer and flying to Sin City the next.  My entire team (the players, the players, parents and my coaches) all absolutely LOVED Grandpa.  And just like my Dad would have done, he did an amazing job of cheering me on from the stands, only Grandpa did it from the first row behind our bench, so it was very loud and clear.  Looking back, agreeing to take me on these week long excursions was not a small commitment at all, but he agreed without hesitation because he knew how important it was to me. I am fairly confident that those are trips that not only I will cherish forever but that he did as well.
  • Breakfast with Grandpa – it was one of the main reasons why I looked forward to our visits with my grandparents, whether in Massillon, in Wisconsin, or anywhere else that we happened to be vacationing with them. For a good number of years it was usually just Grandpa, my Dad and myself because my brothers, let’s just say they “valued their sleep”.  But as my brothers got older they saw the tradition in it and began to cherish the valuable time with Grandpa.  But being the oldest, I did have a few more opportunities to hang out with Grandpa in the mornings as we made our way running errands through Massillon.  After breakfast, it was always to the Masonic Lodge because Grandpa had to make coffee for everyone. After that, like clockwork, it was a stop at the post office, where he ALWAYS had something to mail.  By that time the barber shop had opened, so whether I needed it or not, I usually got a haircut.  And then, before heading home, he never, ever forgot to stop somewhere to get grandma either a blueberry muffin or bagel – showing both his love and generosity for others.
  • Gatherings for Easter with Grandma and Grandma in South Bend, Indiana are something that’ll stick with our family forever. We met there because it was about half way between Massillon and our home in Wisconsin.  We would spend the extended weekend swimming, hot tubbing, having Easter egg hunts, walking the campus of Notre Dame, playing miniature golf, and more.  And of course I can’t forget my brothers and I hitting Grandpa up for quarters to play video games after our parents had cut us off.  After a few years, he just started bringing the $10 paper rolled stacks of quarters and giving each of us one when we asked for it.  And if I forgot to say it at the time “Thank you Grandpa.”
  • My Dad ran a United Methodist Church camp in central Wisconsin for about 15 years. Grandma and Grandpa both loved coming to camp to visit.  The name of the camp was “Camp Lucerne” and they single handily helped support his camp store with all of the sweatshirts, jackets, hats, and anything else that my Dad sold that said “Camp Lucerne”.  And while they truly loved the camp, it became very clear later how much love and support they were giving to their son, and how very proud of him they were for the job he was doing.  And a memory that’ll stick with us all forever are the years that Grandpa came to the “Father-Son Camp” and we were able to have three generations represented.  And because my Dad was in charge of the camp and had many additional responsibilities, Grandpa at times had to take on roles as Father and Grandpa to us, a task that he had no problem accomplishing.

Just as most of you here could, I could go on all day with stories about my Grandpa Delmar.  He will be missed dearly.  I hope to someday become half the man that he was, because people like my Grandpa are one in a million.  Anyone who was around Grandpa Delmar knew of his generosity, work ethic, humility and selflessness.  Anyone who knew Grandpa Delmar also knew how much he love his wife of 75 years, his three boys, his 8 grandchildren, his 11 great-grandchildren, his sister and everyone else in his family.

Albert Einstein once said, “Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation.  For they are us, our bodies are only the wilted leaves on the tree of life.”

And one more final thought: “Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”  Grandma Arlene has assured us that Grandpa is now happy and looking down smiling on us, so let us celebrate his life and continue his legacy.

Thank you Grandpa.  I love you, I love you so much, and will miss you forever.

Love,

Matt

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 Eulogy for Delmar Jarvis

March 16, 2016

by Rev. John Partridge

This may sound like an unusual question, but on your way here today, how many of you saw any horse and buggies on the road?  As you crossed the railroad tracks, did you see any steam engines or Pullman passenger trains go by?  All of us would likely say that we did not.  But more than a few of us saw the First United Methodist Church in Massillon that’s been there for so long that one of its previous pastors was one of the Union soldiers that took part in the great locomotive chase during the Civil War.  Some of us have been places where some of those great old steam engines are in museums or are still running on local excursions.  The reason that I mention these things is that while some things became outdated and faded away, there are places that we can go where we can find these monuments to a different time.  There are buildings and other artifacts that remind us of another time.

And so, as we remember the life of Delmar Leroy. Jarvis, I think we are doing something that is very similar.  In his own, quiet and humble way, Delmar Jarvis was, for us, a great monument to a better time.  Not surprisingly, Delmar was a member of what has been referred to as our “Greatest Generation” and, knowing him, he fit that description in spades.  Delmar served in the United States Navy during WWII as a radio man on the destroyer, USS Kephardt in both the Atlantic and the Pacific theaters.  He was not only justifiably proud of his service, he lamented just a few years ago, after more than seventy years, that he had finally forgotten Morse code.

But the Navy wasn’t all the he was.  Delmar Jarvis did what he said that he would do.  And the things that he did, he did with extraordinary passion and commitment.  The four great loves of his life were the Church, the Masons, the Massillon Tigers, and his family.  To these four things, Delmar gave all that he had.  It wouldn’t have occurred to him to just show up to church a few times a month.  Delmar went to church every Sunday and volunteered as the church treasurer for a great many years as well.  When a renewal movement called the Walk to Emmaus grew within the United Methodist Church he and Arlene drove to Columbus to be the first in Ohio to become a pilgrim so that he could be a part of the core group that brought that movement to this area.

That same commitment was given to the Masons lodge.  Showing up once in a while wasn’t enough.  His grandsons remember that whenever they visited Delmar would take them out to breakfast, but before they could go home, they had to stop at the Masonic lodge because it was Del’s job to make the coffee.  Every. Single. Day.

Third, Delmar loved to watch the Tigers play football.  But once again, not just once in awhile.  Once in a while wasn’t how Delmar Jarvis did things.  Instead, Delmar bought season tickets and attended every single game, every single season, year after year, decade after decade, until he simply, physically, couldn’t do it anymore.

And finally, Delmar’s fourth, and biggest, passion was his family.  As I met with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren yesterday, they told me more stories than I have time to share with you today.  But those same threads of dedication, humility, loyalty, passion, and love flowed through all of them.  First of all there is Arlene the love of his life.  They met roller skating because Delmar was a regular at roller skating races.  I have no trouble imagining that Arlene was captured by Del’s infectious smile and the way that he could make everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room.  Arlene was Delmar’s constant companion and just two weeks ago they celebrated their Seventy-Fifth wedding anniversary together.  In a world where everything seems to be increasingly temporary and where the institution of marriage sometimes seems to be an endangered species, Delmar and Arlene built a monument so that the rest of us could remember that some things were meant to last.

With a son living in Wisconsin, despite the fact that Del had a habit of getting lost whenever he drove somewhere, they decided to meet halfway to visit one another each Easter and so, every year they would meet at a hotel in South Bend, Indiana.  Every year they would find places to go together, they would take walks on the Notre Dame University campus, and since the Amish restaurant that they liked was closed on Sunday, they would have Easter Sunday dinner together on Saturday evening. But some Easter weekends were different because when he was in college, grandson Matt was playing basketball and so on those Easter weekends, Delmar and Arlene drove all the way to Wisconsin to share Easter together and to watch Matt play ball. That too was a recurring theme.  If his children or grandchildren were in it, Delmar and Arlene did whatever they could to be there.  Whether it was working at camp, or watching basketball, or the marching band, or something else, they were there.  As you already heard today, Delmar even volunteer to travel with Matt to Las Vegas, but when he was in town, Del would drive Matt to every single baseball card shop in all of Massillon, Canton, and the surrounding area until they found what they were looking for.

If any of the family were in town, they did everything together whether it was going to the grocery story or anything else.  Delmar Jarvis had a way of making everyone smile, Kelly said that even the first time they met, he made her feel “like he’d known me forever.”  While Elizabeth was in the Massillon band, Del took her to school, every day and when she was in Elementary school near Delmar and Arlene’s house, she came “home” to their house every afternoon.  When Brandon was the last child at home, he remembers that he would travel from Wisconsin to Ohio and have his grandparents all to himself.  When a grandchild was being baptized, Delmar and Arlene travelled to Alaska to see it and to visit Jeannine’s parents.

Over and over again, the life of Delmar Jarvis revolved around his family and the people and the things that he loved.  And although he made a habit of getting lost, and mispronouncing words, his passion, commitment, his sense of humor, and his love for the people around him always showed through.

The term, “Greatest Generation” only begins to describe the life of Delmar Jarvis.  His life was a monument of genuine compassion, concern, dedication, passion, commitment, and love.  In his own, quiet and humble way, Delmar Jarvis was, for us, a great monument to a better time.  And just like those great old churches and museum steam engines, whenever we remember him, whenever we remember the monument that he built in his life, in his family, and in each of us, we can remember how he made us feel.  We can remember what lives can be like when they are truly well lived.  And we can do our best to become more like that.

Men like Delmar Jarvis don’t come around every day.  “Greatest Generation” doesn’t really go far enough, and although it would be embarrassing to Delmar’s humility, describing him as a “Super Hero” would be a lot closer to the truth.  He was indeed, a monument to a better time and testimony that we can be better than we are.

 

 

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