The Duncan Banner


February 19, 2014

Harold T. Garvin

Feb. 10, 1920 — Feb. 15, 2014

DUNCAN — Harold T. Garvin, 94, longtime lawyer in Duncan, died Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at his home in Duncan.

Memorial service will be 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Duncan. Officiating is the rector, the Rev. Anita Slovak, as homilist, the Rev. James M. Sigler, Harold’s son-in-law, as the celebrant and the Honorable George Sherrill as eulogist. Services are under direction of Don Grantham Funeral Home, Duncan.

There will be no visitation at the funeral home.

Garvin was born Feb. 10, 1920, in Walters, the fourth son of Knox Lytton Garvin and Iva Leota Thomas Garvin. His mother died soon after his birth, and Harold and his three brothers Glenn, Oliver and Knox were reared under the loving care of their father and stepmother, Charlotte Estelle Robbins Garvin. Harold’s brother and sister from the second union were Charles and Mary Helen.

The family moved to Duncan in 1922, and Harold has been a resident of Duncan since that time.

With the exception of two years at Oklahoma Military Academy, Garvin attended public schools in Duncan and graduated with the class of 1937. Garvin then attended Westminster College, Fulton, for one year after which he entered the University of Oklahoma where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1941 and a law degree in 1943.

At the university he met Miss Don Hutto, a West Texas ranch girl. They were married Aug. 30, 1941, in St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Big Spring, Texas. They became the parents of Harold Thomas Garvin Jr. (1946) and Shelley Dalston Garvin (1948).

Following graduation from the Law School, Garvin entered the United States Army and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1942. He then was assigned to Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army in France as an artillery forward observer. He fought in the Battle of Northern France, the Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes Forest), the Battle of the Rhineland, and the Battle of Central Europe in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Czechoslovakia.

He earned several citations one of which reads as follows: “For heroic achievement in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States in Germany. On 4 April 1945, when an enemy patrol attacked friendly elements of an antiaircraft artillery position near Schierschwende, Germany Lieutenant Garvin went to the aid of several comrades who had been wounded in the skirmish. In the face of fierce enemy automatic weapons and small arms fire he crossed open terrain to where the men lay and finding them unable to walk, administered first aid and carried them to safety. Lieutenant Garvin’s unflinching courage and loyal devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.”

When the European war ended in May 1945, he was returned to the U. S. for artillery pilot training. When he separated from the service in May 1946, he had earned his wings as a First Lieutenant, with an Army Aviator rating.

Soon after his release from active duty, Garvin was elected Stephens County judge. He served one term, and then was elected to the state House of Representatives. Following one term, he was elected to the state Senate where he served 14 years.

He served as Senate President Pro Tempore during the Edmondson administration and was vice chairman of the National Conference of State Governments and was an organizing member of National Conference of Legislative Leaders.

After leaving public office, Harold served on various governmental committees with the intent to promote more efficient and effective responsive state government. Among these was the ad hoc Ethics Commission created by Gov. George Nigh. The present statutes on ethics in government are the result of this study.

Later Harold was a member of the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges for nine years and was president of that body for two years. He was appointed by Governor Dewey Bartlett and served a term as chairman of the board.

Following his term as county judge, Garvin continuously practiced law in Duncan first as a sole practitioner, later in partnership with C. D. Cund, previously the partner of R. H. Brown who practiced law in Duncan before Statehood. When Garvin retired from active practice, the firm had evolved into the firm of Garvin, Bonney, Weaver and Corley (Henry Bonney, Mike Weaver, Ron Corley).

Garvin was a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association for more than 70 years.

Garvin was an active member of All Saints’ Episcopal Church for most of its existence and received a certificate as its longest serving warden of the vestry. He also was active in business and civic affairs, officer or board member of numerous committees. In the Nation’s bicentennial year, the Stephens County Bicentennial Committee commissioned Garvin to write a history of Duncan, which was placed in a time capsule at Duncan’s Bicentennial Park to be opened on our country’s 300th birthday.

Garvin was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Don in 2003; a son, Harold T. Garvin Jr. in 2009; and four brothers.

Survivors include his daughter, Shelley Garvin Sigler and her husband James M. Sigler; two granddaughters: (Harold Jr.’s daughters) Grayson Estelle Garvin and Laurel Greer Garvin Robinson, her husband Scott and their daughter, Elle Victoria Robinson; two step-granddaughters: Gretchen Shanofsky and Elizabeth Sutton; his younger sister and last living sibling, Mary Helen Dunaway; and numerous nieces, nephews and wonderful friends who helped him live well and feel loved. Harold is also survived by our memories of his intelligence, wit, charm, grace and resilience.

The family is particularly thankful for Pearlie Mitchell and Kenneth Mitchell, his devoted caregivers.

In lieu of flowers, please consider gifts to Harold’s beloved church, All Saints’ Episcopal Church; 809 W. Cedar St.; Duncan, Oklahoma 73533.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

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