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Norma Garvin at 86

Norma Garvin: Groton Icon

Norma Joy (Ibbotson) Garvin, a longtime Groton resident, well known for her many contributions to the community, passed away peacefully in her sleep, May 8, 2019. She was the wife of Everett Garvin who passed away in July, 2013. She was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 8, 1933, daughter of Norman and Stella (Greatrix) Ibbotson and Chester Grose. She grew up in Toronto and in Chatham, Ontario where she graduated from St. Joseph's School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse. She met her husband in St Louis where she was employed as an Operating Room nurse after having specialized at the Mayo Clinic's Methodist Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mrs. Garvin moved to Groton in 1962 and started her long association with the local hospitals, Groton Community Hospital, and Nashoba Community Hospital, now Nashoba Valley Medical Center. She served as both a nurse and a volunteer, re-establishing the Junior Volunteer program, serving three terms as the president of the Hospital Auxiliary and many years as Director of Volunteer Services. She helped the hospital start a Care-Ring program to call seniors to check on them. In 1984 this program won the hospital an American Society of Directors of Volunteers Services Innovative Program Award and Norma flew to Miami to accept it.

She was involved with the hospital in the Relay For Life cancer walk for many years. She had an inspirational determination to overcome obstacles, an impeccable work ethic and an uncanny ability to find laughter in any situation. She was well known by many for her loyalty, kind-hearted spirit and giving nature.

Mrs. Garvin served her community in many capacities. She was active in the Unitarian Church as an assistant to Rev. Rosenberger. For 10 years she coached junior and senior girl’s softball, serving for two years as the President of the Nashoba Girls Softball League. She served on the Council On Aging for 6 years, three of which she was president. She was one of the founders of the successful HELP program which evolved into the Golden Agers Club.

In 2003 she was the Girl Friday volunteer for the Groton Fire Department, in 2006 she was asked to serve on the LEPC, Local Emergency Planning Committee, and in 2007 she was on the Police Chief Screening Committee. Mrs. Garvin covered Town Meetings and election days, served on the Historical Commission and was a member of the Groton Historical Society.

She was a member of the Groton Woman's Club, on committees for Youth Services, Scholarships, Publicity, UNICEF, and Community Services among others. Son Mark attended Groton School and she worked at the Groton School Infirmary for 20 years.

She was a loving mother and is survived by her proud children, Michael A Garvin of St. Louis MO., Mark E Garvin and wife Jill of Andover MA, Reid A Garvin of Alton, NH, Holly L Raymond of Townsend MA. and grandchildren who filled her life with great joy, Sarah, Emily and Elizabeth Garvin, St. Louis MO, Jennifer and Annie Garvin, Andover MA and Michael Anderson, Berlin NH .She was also the sister of Kenneth Ibbotson, Ontario, Canada, Doug Grose, Mentor Ohio, Margaret Illman, Chatham, Ontario and the late Marguerite McGregor.

Norma loved the sun, beach and pool. She enjoyed entertaining friends and family, caring for her home, tending her garden, painting, hooking and working on the family genealogy. She loved to travel visiting Canada, England, Ireland, France, Russia, Greece, Hawaii, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Holland, Aruba, Cancun, Scotland, and Turkey. Although her physical presence is no longer with us, her spirit lives forever in our hearts and our minds as we recall her beauty, strength and love of life.

Over the years she received several awards for her services. In 1974 she was selected as Groton's Public Spirited Citizen. In 2003 the Nashoba Chamber of Commerce awarded her the Robert W Lewis award for Outstanding Citizen Volunteer. In 2006 the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women presented her with the Mass. Unsung Heroine Award. In 2008 the Nashoba Valley Medical Center awarded her their Living Legend award for lifelong commitment to the improvement of community health. In 2013 the new Geriatric Psychiatric Unit at the hospital was dedicated and named the Garvin Geriatric, Psychiatric Unit.

A memorial service will be held once arrangements have been finalized.

There are no calling hours. After the service her children will honor her wishes and invite everyone back to her home for refreshments.


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