Gary  Jarva

Obituary of Gary Ray Jarva

Our beloved husband, father, and papa, Gary Ray Jarva, 80, of Bovey, MN, passed away on April 26, 2024.

Gary was born on December 16, 1943 to Dolly (nee Melquist) and Reino Jarva in Hibbing, MN.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents and Judi’s parents; aunts and uncles; and countless friends. He is survived by his wife Judi (nee Sipe); his sisters Jean (Frank) Russ and Judy Markovich; his children Aaron Jarva and Carly (DJ) Baker; and his two beloved grandchildren Charlie Jarva and Tori Blu Baker as well as many lifelong friends and cousins.

After graduating from Greenway High School in 1963, he went on to serve in the US Air Force where he was stationed in Germany. In 1968, Gary met Judi Ann at Dale’s in Coleraine. He was an up north boy through and through, but moved to Minneapolis for the girl he loved. They were married in 1970. Gary and his dad built a house for Judi in the woods near Trout Lake where the family still lives today. Gary and Judi went on to have 2 children, Aaron and Carly.

Gary was a proud member of the Cement Mason’s union. He spent years building bridges and roads in Duluth and the surrounding areas. He was notorious for having survived falls into both the St Louis River and Lake Superior in the middle of winter. He made great friends through work and was an expert in his craft. In 1999, Gary was injured on a job and forced to retire.

In retirement, he spent countless hours researching and collecting military memorabilia. He travelled the country with his buddies searching out deals at military shows. He loved collecting so much that he built a fireproof room in their basement that would keep his collection safe come hell or high water.

He loved to listen to his music at high volumes while he looked through pictures and videos of his grandkids while he drank his coffee in the wee hours of the morning. You could find Gary most of the time in his favorite chair engrossed in a western, watching the history channel, or reminiscing on the phone with his buddies, his cousin Perry, and his sisters. He was proud of his Finnish heritage and definitely full of Sisu! He was an amazing cook and loved to experiment on new recipes. He and his daughter spent a lifetime working on the recipe for the perfect spaghetti sauce. He loved to tinker in the yard with his son and grandson. They could be heard bickering back and forth about the best idea for a project like clockwork every time they started something. He loved to visit his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter in the cities where he would drink scotch with his son-in-law and talk about life.

Our dad was a man of few words and deep emotions. He loved his family deeply and his grandchildren brought him endless joy in his final years. He will be missed forever by those who loved him.

Services will be held at Fort Snelling on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at 1:00pm.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Gary
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Duluth
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