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Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Paul Jarvis, it is easy to see both his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for his family. He exemplified what it means to serve others and work hard, and he was never afraid to face challenges head-on. Nothing brought Paul greater joy than spending time with his loved ones, even in the simplest of moments. His primary focus in life was fostering deep and personal relationships with those around him. Deeply loved, Paul will be forever missed by those who knew him best.
It seems only fitting that Paul’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the 1950s when James Dean and Marilyn Monroe were big names on the silver screen, while Elvis Presley introduced the world to the sounds of rock ’n roll for the very first time. It was as this decade began to dawn that Paul was welcomed into the world by his parents on January 4, 1950.
Growing up, Paul was a typical young man of his generation in many ways. He was the oldest child and would go on to be joined by nine younger siblings. Paul’s father was an accountant and supported the family by working as a CFO at the Hutzel Hospital in Detroit. Meanwhile, Paul’s mother, who had previously worked as an X-ray tech, dedicated herself to remaining home and raising their children. One of Paul’s prized possessions growing up was his turntable with headphones, which he would use to listen to jazz music and all things Johnny Cash. Though he always loved dogs, he never had one of his own and had several cats growing up instead.
Born in Muskegon, at the age of nine, Paul and his family moved to Chicago for two years before settling down in Grosse Pointe. He attended Grosse Pointe South High School where he boxed, played the accordion, and discovered a love for staying active by lifting weights and bodybuilding! He was fiercely protective of the ones he loved, and never afraid to stand up for others. Paul graduated from high school in 1968, ready to move on to bigger and better things.
All who knew Paul can surely agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. He met and married a woman named Margaret “Peggy” Mary Monagin. Though Paul and Peggy were only married for a short time, they were overjoyed to welcome their two sons, Eli in 1979 and Benjamin in 1983, into their hearts and home. He thrived in his role as a father and did his best to raise his children into kind and hardworking individuals. Paul enjoyed spending time with his family and made doing so his primary focus, and this didn’t end as his kids grew. He loved going to art museums with Eli when they were both adults. Paul and Ben spent quality time trying out different restaurants. Paul always considered himself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
Over the years, Paul lived and worked in a variety of places around the United States. He worked as a merchant marine on a freighter in Detroit for months at a time, where he helped maintain the boilers. Luckily, Paul never seemed to mind the cold. He then worked at Hutzel before moving to Los Angeles, again working on boilers at hospitals, schools, and the international port in San Diego. Though Paul originally moved to Los Angeles in order to follow a spiritual calling, living out West wasn’t a good fit for him, and he eventually moved back to Detroit.
Never one to sit still for long, Paul pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. He enjoyed playing several instruments, especially bagpipes. Paul was an avid fan of baseball, and he loved hockey and the Red Wings. He liked a wide variety of music including jazz, classical, and the blues, and though he wasn’t a great cook, he did love eating and trying new foods from all around the world. Paul enjoyed shooting skeet and made his own shells, sometimes with his sisters. When his sons were older, he would take them to go shooting at the gun range as well. Paul stayed active by working out at the downtown Detroit YMCA and walking to the Lafayette Coney Island for some dogs. He drove an MG midget and enjoyed driving a Karmann Ghia. Paul especially loved tiny sport cars and both Harley and Triumph bikes. As a serving member of his community, he liked to do volunteer work, even after his retirement.
As his family and friends can certainly attest, Paul Jarvis truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He was a constant source of strength and support for others, and he always had an encouraging word to say. Paul’s unshakeable Christian faith formed the firm foundation of all that he did. He was well known for his gentle spirit and caring nature, and he was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others. Though Paul will be dearly missed, he leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones will be proud to carry on in his footsteps.
Paul Jarvis, of Kalamazoo, age 73, died on January 25, 2023. Paul was born on January 4, 1950 in Muskegon, the son of Robert and Brooks (McClure) Jarvis. Paul is preceded in death by his brother David Jarvis. He is survived by his sons: Elijah and Benjamin Jarvis; and his eight siblings: James (Beverly) Jarvis, John (Nora) Jarvis, Patricia (Peter) Dodge, Mary Jarvis, Margaret (Raymond) McCrorey, Daniel Jarvis, Donna (Carlos) Torres, and Christine (Robert) Tate. Cremation has taken place and a service will take place at a later date. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.