John J. Garvey, an Irish-American educator who served on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Scholarship Committee for 30 years, died Friday, June 29, 2018.
John was the son of Charles & Evelyn Garvey. He was a devoted husband to Ann, loving father to William (Carol) and cherished grandfather to Sara. He was the fond brother of Cathal and the late Frank in Ireland.
A true son of Ireland and an equally staunch American patriot, John has held a number of leadership positions in the Irish American community: a past president and founding member of the American Irish Teachers Association whose newsletter he wrote and edited with his wife; past president of the Mayo Society of New York whose newsletter he also wrote and edited for over 25 years. He pioneered the educational outreach program organized to bring new immigrants into higher education. He was a director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Committee. He was at the forefront in securing the Irish Immigrant Stamp from the US Postal Service and bringing about the New York State Irish Famine Curriculum. He was an essay judge for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee Scholarship Competition and an avid AOH Division 4 member and member of the Bronx Gaelic League. He was an energetic fundraiser for Western Care and the Ceide Fields development as well as many other projects.
A former chair of the Irish American Heritage & Culture Committee, N.Y.C. Board of Education, he organized the production of a documentary video, “The Irish in New York” which for many years was shown on Channel 25 in connection with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
John also chaired the prestigious United Irish Counties 1916 Commemoration Committee which produced a book exploring New York City’s pivotal role in the 1916 Rising: “THE EASTER RISING: NEW YORK AND BEYOND.” In addition to his demanding role as committee chair, John wrote the introduction and contributed an essay for this publication.
For his work in the development of “The Easter Rising: New York and Beyond”, the United Irish Counties awarded John the Rose Cosgrove Distinguished Service Award.
John also received the Salmon of Knowledge sculpture from the Irish government in recognition of his many contributions to the advancement and understanding of Irish contributions in the US and abroad.
As a Vietnam era vet, John was an instructor in the Engineer School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
This experience inspired him to devote his professional life to the field of education. He retired from the New York City public school system after more than three decades of service as a teacher in PS 85X. John received his secondary education from St. Muredach’s College, Ballina and Patrician College, Ballyfin, Co. Laois. He held a B.A. from Fordham University in Marketing and Management and an M.A. in Distributive Education form NYU. He was honored as “Educator of the Year” by the Association of Teachers.
His wake will be held Tuesday, July 3, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home, (516) 354-0634 125 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park, New York 11040.
A mass of Christian burial will take place on Wednesday, July 4, at 10 a.m. at the Church of St. Aloysius, 592 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck.