Remembering Garvin


On Saturday, August 25, North Kitsap Fishline hosted a Memorial Service for Garvin Tootle.  The event was held at the Poulsbo waterfront.  Sunny skies and a light breeze greeted a large group of friends and family that gathered to honor his memory. Throughout the seated guests were bright red shirts with yellow writing — honoring Garvin’s service to the Marine Corps and sharing a sentiment that made everyone smile:  

The shirts read — “Can I lend you a hand?….Garvin made me do it.” 
The service began with a reading about service to others, from 1 Peter 4:10.

Chuck Weaver than shared Garvin’s Story — his service to the Marine Corps, to his family, and to the community.  Jim Stark from the Poulsbo Noon Lions then shared his memories of Garvin, many of which drew smiles from the crowd.  Afterwards, friends and fellow volunteers spoke fondly of Garvin.

His daughter gave an emotional thanks to the crowd — she shared how touched she was to hear the kind words about Garvin’s life and work here in Poulsbo, and was thankful to have this glimpse into the legacy he leaves behind.

Mary Nader, Executive Director of NK Fishline spoke last — and said it best — “I’m sure Heaven is a much more smoothly running place because you’re there.”

Eric Alexander played and sang “Believe Me” — a song he wrote for the memorial.  He then lead the group in singing “Happy Birthday” — Saturday would have been Garvin’s 70th birthday. It was an emotional tribute — many in the crowd teared up by the end of the song.

The most touching part of the service was looking at the people that gathered together — the diversity present in the NK Fishline friends and family.  It’s clear that Garvin leaves behind something so very special to the many people whose lives he touched — whether to lend a helping hand, to teach a life lesson, to inspire or simply to share a smile.   

Garvin Tootle, age 69, passed away on June 26, 2012 from cancer.  He was a retired Marine Corps officer of 23 years and, until recently, Operations Manager of NK Fishline. 

          He is survived by his wife, Joan Tootle, one son, two daughters and five grandchildren. 

To adequately describe Garvin would take volumes, but being a private person, he did not enjoy being the center of attention.  To honor this, just a few of his memorable traits will be mentioned here.

He had a deep, unwavering love for his country; constantly strived to be of service to family, friends    and community; greatly respected work well done and those who did it; and was a great admirer of personal, moral and physical strength.  One of his greatest wishes was to be a hero to someone and this he accomplished many times over. 

He fought this dreadful disease for over seven years and continued to be active until almost his last breath.  his greatest passion in the later part of his life was dedicated to Fishline, its volunteers and the clients.  This is what motivated him and kept him going daily, long after his advanced disease took over his body.  

This multi-faceted man could be either charming or fearsome, depending on the situation; however, no matter what, he was always respected, loved and admired by those who really knew him.  

(from the Memorial Program)