Jarvis Porter “Jarv” Boyce
May 7, 1926 ~ August 21, 2013
Jarvis Porter “Jarv” Boyce, 87, a lifelong resident of the Wenatchee Valley, passed away August 21, 2013, following a ten year struggle with dementia. Born May 7, 1926, to Clyde Cave and Margaret (Liebig) Boyce at his great-grandparents’ homestead in Denhoff, ND (cheaper childbirth there and free rail service, as Clyde was the G.N.R.R. clerk in Wenatchee), Jarv was the oldest of nine children. He spent his younger summers in Denhoff, helping with his grandparents’ farm and rural mail route until 1937, when the Boyce family lost their home to taxes. They moved to a ten acre site on the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, where they lived in the basement (many dishes were broken!), while Clyde built a beautiful house and farm. From those lean years, Jarv learned the virtues of hard work, frugality, honesty, and resilience. He excelled in efficiency and resourcefulness, reusing throwaway materials and rarely wasting time. An avid reader, he enjoyed crossword puzzles, hunting, fishing, swimming, and swapping stories with family and lifelong friends. Following graduation, Jarv served as a Radio Operator in the Army Air Force, South Pacific, 1944 to 1946, earning several medals and able to recite every “dah” and “dit” perfectly until age 85. Following WWII, Jarv drove a taxi at night while studying accounting at Wenatchee Valley College.
In 1947, he fortunately met and married Phyllis Lake of Peshastin and they had two children, Gregory and Heather. Phyllis remained the best thing that ever happened to him, his fishing companion, and the love of his life until her passing in 2008, over 61 years together. Phyllis called Jarv her “Knight in shining armor”, most of the time. Jarv bought his first logging truck after working many years for Peshastin Lumber & Box. He never missed a day of work, except during recovery from a broken neck. After several million switch-backed miles, relentless chaining up, and far too many 16-hour days, “Grandpa Big Truck” retired, selling his sixth KW, rather cheerfully. For the next ten years, he helped grow NCW Door Co., Cashmere, where he did the work of two younger men in half the time, from site prep/building construction to garage door installation, warehouse organization, and billing. He then built two garages by himself, using many discarded materials. Jarv was well respected in the logging community, at construction sites, by fishermen as he unobtrusively reeled in the steelies, and by Peshastin folks who envied his immaculate corn patch and appreciated his shoveling of the Peshastin bridge walkways every winter. During his slow decline due to dementia, Jarv never lost his wonderful sense of humor, vise-like logger’s grip, appreciation for small things, nor his readiness to help. The 1930 obituary for his great-grandfather, also Jarvis Porter, Railroad engineer in Iowa, fittingly describes his namesake: “Mr. Boyce was one of the real railroad men in this community and state. He was not only faithful in his duties, but he was a high minded man with aspirations and faithful and square with his fellow men. The railroad has lost a faithful servant, Grinnell has lost an estimable citizen, his family has lost a loyal man, and a large circle has lost a true friend.” Polite, unassuming, and ever unfazed, Jarv never feared anything and made the best of any situation, to the very end.
Much appreciation is felt for the terrific care by Dr. Karl Kranz (aptly dubbing Jarv “a tough old boot” after surviving his 15 hour “walkabout”) and Louise, and the teams at Bonaventure Memory Care and Central Hospital Hospice.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Phyllis; sister, Betty Street; brothers, Colin, Bill, and Joe; nieces, Laura Hendrickson and Cathy Street; nephews, Peter and Clyde Boyce; and his beloved Yorkie, Muffin. Survivors include his son, Gregory (April); daughter, Heather; grandchildren, Luke and Autumn; great-granddaughter, Lexi Grace; sister, Gretchen (Ray) Hendrickson; brothers, John (Joyce) of Chehalis, Jim (Sylvia) of Boring, OR, and Pete (Kathy) of East Wenatchee; spouses of his deceased siblings, Billie, Iris and Jan; 22 nieces and nephews; 28 great-nieces and nephews; and 13 great-great-nieces and nephews.
Jarv preferred no funeral service. Private Inurnment will be at the Peshastin Cemetery, as arranged by Ward’s Funeral Chapel, Leavenworth.