La Salle remembers author, teacher, friend
Brother William Garvey, a part time religion professor at La Salle, passed away on the morning of March 31, 2006. On Friday, April 7, one week after Garvey’s death, the Christian Brothers’ house was filled with students, staff and faculty celebrating the Feast Day of St. John Baptiste de la Salle. Although the Feast Day of the Brothers’ patron saint and founder was a joyful occasion, those that knew Garvey stopped to remember their friend and Brother. Affectionately known as “Brother Bill,” Garvey was the personification of the Lasallian spirit.
In addition to teaching, Garvey wrote two books. His first, Van Kaam’s Formation Science, Formative Spirituality and Religious Education in Asia, was praised as “quite useful to persons in the areas of spirituality, religious education, and interfaith dialogue” by Brother Andrew Gonzalez, President of the De La Salle University in Manila. Garvey’s second book, Theories of Human and/or Spiritual Development and St. John Baptiste De La Salle, is an article that deals with the stages of human and spiritual growth.
In Lipa, a city in the Philippines, Garvey also served as Novitiate, the director of novices. From 1990 to 1997, he worked in Colombo, Sri Lanka as the Regional Secretary and Director of Formation for the Pacific Area Regional Conference. To honor his service, Garvey was presented
“You’d make a friend immediately.” Brother Joseph L. Grabenstein said of Garvey. “He was spiritual without being ‘churchy.’” According to Grabenstein, even in the short time that he spent at La Salle, people were drawn to Garvey’s gentle and approachable personality. Grabenstein noted that Brian Fisher, a 1986 graduate of La Salle, was so greatly affected by Garvey that he traveled three hours from his home in Philadelphia to attend the funeral in Ammendale, Md.
Garvey was “extremely enthusiastic and lots of fun to be with” said Brother Charles Gresh, another friend. “I know the students thought very highly of him.”
Freshman Chris McNabb agreed. “He always asked how classes were going. He was always interested in what was new in our lives. He will be greatly missed,” McNabb said.
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