John Norman Garvalia, 58, of Bonita Springs, Florida, recently and courageously battled unexpected complications from Infective Endocarditis. On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, John was surrounded by loved ones when the skies parted, allowing him to experience his last sunset on this earth as he peacefully slipped into the arms of his Heavenly Father.
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John was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 7, 1961 and raised on a rural farm in Romance, Wisconsin by his parents Norman L. Garvalia and Jo Ann E. Wolfe Garvalia, who preceded him in death. He was a graduate of DeSoto High School and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he earned a B.S. in Accounting and Finance. John’s intelligence, integrity, honesty and hard work laid the foundation for his thirty year career in leasing and managing multiple design centers across the United States. Early in his career, John served as the Financial Manager/Leasing Agent of the Boston Design Center and thereafter, as President of Dallas-based Crow Design Centers.
It was during his time in Texas that he met the love of his life, Anita. Over the years, their many adventures and all roads eventually led to John’s proposal and marriage to Anita in her home state of West Virginia.
John and Anita subsequently moved to Florida where he served as Vice President of Miromar Development Corporation in Estero, Florida. During his years with Miromar, John was active with the local business community by serving as a Director of the Estero Chamber of Commerce, holding the position of President for three years and also representing the ECC on the regional Horizon Council. John continued in his career, based out of Dania, Florida, as Senior Vice President of Design Center Leasing for Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation.
John was a kind and gentle soul whose generosity, quick wit, sense of fun and selfless spirit endeared him to everyone that had the pleasure of meeting him. John was blessed to have shared his love of the outdoors with many friends and family on various hunting and fishing excursions. He enjoyed watching/playing golf, shooting a game of pool or darts, taking the pontoon out in search of dolphins and cheering on his Green Bay Packers. Sunsets were special to John and living in southwest Florida was the perfect place for him to share so many beautiful ones with his family and friends…watching for the elusive “Green Flash”.
John is survived by his loving and devoted wife of eighteen years, Anita Smith Garvalia, formerly of Big Chimney, WV, his two daughters, fourteen year old Grace Evelyn and twelve year old Ava Jean, and their sweet dog Surrey. The pride and joy that Grace and Ava gave to their Daddy was evident by the tears that often swelled in his eyes as he spoke about or watched them excel in their endeavors. John is also survived by his sister, Debra Ann Hanson (Earlyn) of LaCrosse, WI, his father-in-law, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, aunts, and cousins. He is survived by many nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great nieces who will all dearly miss their “Uncle John”. He is also survived by John Hutzenbuhler, a best friend of thirty eight years and brother at heart.
A “Celebration of Life” service will be 2:00 pm on February 15, 2020 at the First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs, Florida, with a reception to follow. A subsequent remembrance celebration will be held in Genoa, Wisconsin at a later date this Spring.
Arrangements are in the care of Hafer Funeral Home, 50 North Pinch Road, Elkview, WV. Online condolences may be sent to www.haferfuneralhome.net. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the John Garvalia Memorial Fund, established for Grace and Ava https://www.gofundme.com/f/john-garvalia-memorial-for-grace-and-ava
John is being laid to rest in a private family graveside service on Thursday, January 16 at Elk Hills Memorial Park in Big Chimney, WV, among the hills that were almost heaven to him and surrounded by Anita’s family who loved him as a son, brother and uncle. Condolences can be expressed to the family from 11am to 1pm at Hafer Funeral Home prior to the graveside service.