James H. Garber, 79, of Largo, Fl, Passed in his daughters home in Ottsville, PA, (Bucks County). He died peacefully surrounded by candlelight and his loved ones on Thursday evening, November 29. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms.
Jim was born in Pittsburgh, the first child of the late Nevin and the late Jean (Herron) Garber. He spent his youth in Bakerstown, Pa, loving the outdoors, riding his horse, Peanuts, visiting his cousin’s farms in Elizabethtown Pa, growing his garden, and caring for various pets. He learned his strong work ethic at an early age. During the summers while in high school and college, he was a member of the Lake Chautauqua (water) ski team. Always laughing and proud that he was part of the first 6-man pyramid ski show.
Jim always excelled scholastically and was Valedictorian of his high school graduating class. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1962, with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. While at Lehigh, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He played football and also lettered in wrestling. Upon graduation, he was invited to attend pre-season football training with the Chicago Bears, instead choosing to begin his career with E.I DuPont de Nemours. His career began in Rochester, NY, and he soon transferred to Philadelphia. Upon his retirement from DuPont in 1985, he held the title of Regional Sales Manager of 9 Mid-Atlantic states in the Radiology & X-ray equipment Division. After retiring, Jim didn’t relax too long, and was hired to open, and manage, the East Coast branch of E.G. Baldwin, a Cleveland based company.
Jim’s happiness came from living life to the fullest. He possessed a quick, sharp wit and his humor was present wherever he went. He would say with a twinkle in his eye that his favorite movie was “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, and thereafter, in the days before cell phones, he referred to himself as “McMurphy” while using his C.B. radio traveling his sales territory. His other favorite movie was Rocket Gibraltar, starring Burt Lancaster. He loved the ocean and the mountains equally, his favorite flower being Mountain Laurel. He enjoyed boating, water and snow skiing, and fishing. He was a certified P.A.D.I scuba diver; He continued to ride horses through adulthood and also enjoyed golfing. He was a master at singing Irish tunes and old family songs, and especially famous for his unique dance moves. He traveled the world over, his favorite places being Africa, Tahiti, Fiji, and Bora Bora . Everyone who knew him knew his greatest joys in life were his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed his life’s work, travels and many adventures , but he cherished simple times the most….sitting around a bon-fire , refreshment in hand, singing his old tunes, oft times wearing his “Mr. Bon fire” t-shirt, surrounded by his children and friends , listening to C.C. R. , Willie Nelson, and Joe Cocker, as he gazed at the stars with a huge smile across his face.
Jim was a great bon fire that burned bright, and each of us lived in his light and warmth for so very long. We know that his flame lives on in each of us.
James will forever be missed by his wife of 34 years, Pegi, Six children: Christian Garber, Daniel Garber (Mary Ann); Shawn Garber (Matt), Michael Keyser, Erin Keyser Schultz (Ron) and James “Jamie” Nevin Garber (Natalie); eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild. Nieces and nephews: Patrick, Dan, Michael, Shea, Kirstin and Niki. He will be greatly missed by his Goldendoodle, Coco. He was preceded in death by his two brothers, David and John. Jim leaves his two best friends, Bill K. and Dave P. His Fla. Bird watching pals, Kenny and Howard, and his best hiking buddies, Helen, Dave and Bongo.
The family would like to thank Dr. Jingsong Zhang at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa for his many years of excellent care and friendship, as well as the many nurses who became his friends. Our special love and gratitude to Erika Tollini, his Hospice nurse, and the entire Hospice team.
All services will be private. In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Doylestown Hospital Hospice, 4259 West Swamp Rd. Suite 204, Doylestown, Pa 18902. All arrangements are being handled by Shalkop, Grace & Strunk FH. Online condolences and donations can be made at www.sgsfuneralhome.com