Douglas James McGarvie
Oct. 26, 1930 — Dec. 12, 2017

On December 12, 2017, Douglas James McGarvie, at the age of 87, passed away peacefully surrounded by loving family members. Douglas was born in Milwaukee on October 26, 1930. He attended Green Tree Elementary School and Shorewood High School. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Milwaukee State Teachers’ College, Doug continued on to earn a Master of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his Ph.D. in educational psychology from Marquette University, and his psychologist’s license. Throughout his storied career as a special education teacher, director of student services for the Wauwatosa School District, and director of special education for Waukesha County, Doug exhibited patience, understanding, intelligence and an ability to connect with children — the very qualities he admired in the staff members with whom he worked. He taught classes related to the field of educational psychology and special education at UWM, Marquette University, Cardinal Stritch University and Alverno College, and was a respected member of the education community in the greater metropolitan area.

Doug and Lois Seeger McGarvie met while they were students at Milwaukee State Teachers’ College.

They were fabulously in love and exceedingly happily married from August 29, 1953, until Lois passed away on April 21, 2015.

Douglas is survived by his son Mark (Blythe); daughter Karen (Thomas); grandchildren Erin Campbell Watson and Thomas McGarvie Watson; brother Norman (Audrey); brother-in-law Ralph Seeger (Jean); and seven nieces and nephews.

Doug exhibited a quick wit and a wonderful sense of humor. Numerous friends drew engaging caricatures of Doug to document his many passions. He loved woodworking, singing, painting with watercolors, gardening, reading, drawing, playing racquetball, canoeing, throwing pots (ceramics), and of course — teaching.

He sang in choirs throughout his adolescent and adult life, was a member of the Four Gone Conclusions barbershop quartet, learned to play the guitar and the dulcimer after he retired, and volunteered as a longtime member of Ray’s Team at the Schlitz Audubon Center and as a tutor at Literacy Services of Wisconsin.

Please watch for information regarding the date and location of a memorial service and reception.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee, The Schlitz Audubon Center, and Literacy Services of Wisconsin are appreciated.

Becker Ritter Funeral Home, 262-782-5330, is serving the family. Sympathies can be expressed at