Willie Thomas Garvey

March 8, 1943 - January 18, 2012
Willie Thomas Garvey


Willie Thomas Garvey left our earth to be with his father in Heaven on January 18th 2012 at NHRMC.

He was born on March 8th 1943 the only son of the late Paul and Laura Padgett Garvey in Duplin County, NC.

Willie was a unique man with a gigantic personality that was large enough to fill his family and friends hearts forever. He was a Big Duke fan and loved to do seek and find puzzles for hours at a time. He was an avid hunter; fisherman, inspiring card shark, and practical jokester who loved to tell jokes and make people smile.

Willie was always honest, caring, gentle and kind and was most proud of his family and friends that were considered family as well.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister Joyce Cavenaugh, and brothers in laws Odell, Rudy, and Max Benton.
He is survived and will be cherished always by his wife and very best buddy Gayle Benton Garvey, His girls Rhonda Garvey Keel, Karen Garvey Miksck and husband David, and Paige Garvey Saburn and husband Kyle and John Keel.

He is also survived by his grandchildren and the sparkles in his eyes Aaron, Elijah and Jacob Keel, Jared and Reagan Jernigan, and Caroline Saburn. Sisters Pearl Cavenaugh (Orian); Judy Gray (Richard), and Carolyn Santiago. Sisters in law Janice Gaskill (Terry), Kim Williams (Ervin), Carolyn and Juanita Benton. Brothers in law James ( Vina Mae), Lewis ( Harriett), Arland ( Judy), Fred (Beverly). He is also survived by a vast number of wonderful nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews that even though they are too numerous to name… Uncle Willie loved and cherished them all and holds a special place in everyone hearts forever. Special longtime friends and “partners in crime” include Ferris McKitrick, Dan Matthews, Ronnie Graham, Neil and Doris Woods, and Roger and Anne Henderson and numerous “adoptive children” that he and Gayle helped raise with open doors.

We will celebrate the life of this wonderful man on Monday January 23rd 2012 with a visitation at Elah Baptist Church in Leland, NC from 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm directly followed by his service at 2:00 pm at the church. Interment will be at King Memorial Gardens on Bluff Dr following the services. Reverend Lewis Benton will perform the services.

Pallbearers will be Mike Gore, Glen Padgett, Jimmy Smith, Major Grady, John Keel, and John Grimes.

Our family would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Airlink and Vitalink crew members, Leland Fire Chief and family friend John Grimes, BCEMS Holly Sears and Erica Booth. Also thank you to Dr. Christian Lloyd, and STICU employees Heather, Roz and special family friend Charlotte Stevens for all assisting our dad during his preparations to be with the Lord… you help make this unbearable process for us beautiful.
Our husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend will live in our hearts and be a hero to us all forever.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Funeral and Cremation, Village Road Chapel, 525 Village Road, Leland, NC 28451 910.383.3511


Purchase Flowers

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • January 19, 2012
    wanda anderson says:
    my prayers are with you. im so sorry about your loss, just remember he is always with you and is in a better place, love all of you.

  • January 19, 2012
    Crissy (Benton) Sorenson says:
    So sorry to hear about your loss, you all are in our thoughts and prayers! Love you!

  • January 19, 2012
    Wendy Ganey Little says:
    So sorry to hear about your loss.Many prayers will be sent up for the family!! May God hold you all tightly in the palm of his hand.

  • January 19, 2012
    Sharmon Ganey &Family says:
    Mrs.Gail & Family..sorry to hear about Mr.Willie you are all in our thoughts and prayers he will truly be missed.love to you all.

  • January 20, 2012
    Gary Horne says:
    Gayle, Cathy and I are very sorry to learn of Willie's death. He was a very special man and a longtime friend. We had many good times at work and hunting together years ago. He will be missed by many. Our prayers are with you and all of your family at this difficult time. Gary and Cathy Horne