Cover photo for George Edward Jarvis's Obituary
George Edward Jarvis Profile Photo

George Edward Jarvis

October 3, 1936 — November 17, 2023

Salt Lake City, Utah

George Edward Jarvis

George Edward Jarvis was born October 3, 1936 to Mildred Boyer and Joseph Jarvis of 123 East First Street in Mesa, AZ, the 6th of their 8 children. George led an idyllic childhood full of promise and accomplishment. He excelled in 4H, raised chickens, and rode his bike to different corners of town to milk cows. When he learned to read, he tracked Patton’s progress across Europe every day in the papers. He was an Eagle Scout and traveled to Valley Forge and Washington, D.C. for the national jamboree. He played tackle basketball with his older brothers, an approach to the sport that they passed down to their children as well. He refined his basketball game enough to play great defense and get plenty of rebounds without tackling people in high school as an integral part of the Mesa Jackrabbit team that went to the State Finals. He was in a slew of other clubs and leadership positions in high school as well, played the trumpet in the band, and often reminisced about performing as Pip, the lead character in “Great Expectations,” one of many plays in which he performed.

 

In the fall of 1954, he began attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He graduated in history from Northwestern in 1958, after a detour that he could never explain (even to himself) took him to the University of Utah for his sophomore year. He had a lifelong love of both Mesa High and Northwestern and would often attend reunions and keep up with his dear friends throughout the years. At Northwestern, he joined a fraternity, lost a tooth playing intramural football, was in the Navy ROTC and traveled on a battleship across the Atlantic to Denmark, and, in intramural fast-pitch softball, got the only hit a phenomenal pitcher gave up all season, after George decided to hit left-handed for that one at bat because nothing else was working.

 

It was while visiting Arizona on a break from law school at Stanford University that he saw Janice Nelson from across the room at a wedding and asked his only sister, SusAnn, to find out who she was. On the night that George and Jan had their first date, George met Lyndon B. Johnson, but his focus that night and forevermore was on Jan. Soon after graduating third in his class from Stanford with his law degree in 1961, they married and settled in Los Angeles where George began to practice corporate law, and they began to raise a family. Derek was born in 1962, Brett in 1964, and Doug in 1975, right after they had moved back to LA after having spent 5 years in Arizona. 

 

George’s family was his pride and joy. He attended all of his kids’ games and performances, often competing with his wife to see who could holler complaints at the refs or encouragement to the team members the loudest. He coached teams, was president of the PTA, and chaperoned dances. He led a pack of boys on five 10-mile hikes in the mountains and a 20-mile hike along the beach that got them their hiking merit badges and got his own sons 2nd and 3rd degree sunburns and a week lying in bed. He seemingly always had time to play and watch sports with his kids, play cards and board games (especially Trivial Pursuit which he remained dominant at throughout his life), or just be with them, because it was clear he liked nothing more. He took the family on trips, mainly throughout the US West, but also twice to Europe (including to the site of the Battle of the Bulge), and was always the instigator to get the family out to anything cultural, be it the symphony, opera, or museums. Once, in the ultimate fatherly triumph, he took the family to a barbershop quartet competition over the loud protests of his children, who ended up loving it so much that they begged him to take the whole family again the next year.

 

His love of family extended to all of his family, his 9 grandkids of course, but also nieces and nephews, ancestors, his kids’ friends, and his friends’ kids as well. Despite a refined ability to express disdain with a subtle shift in facial features, he accepted all who came his way and often supported them at their events as well. His nieces and nephews consistently mention their love for him because he made it clear he was actually interested in them and wanted to hear what they had to say.

 

George was a brilliant lawyer who kept corporate spies out of jail and put together an argument that convinced the Supreme Court, but his interest in both the mundane and the business aspects of his profession was decidedly limited. He worked for a variety of firms including his own Seki, Jarvis, and Lynch where he defended big corporate Japanese clients that took him on trips to Japan and spurred him to co-write a book in Japanese - which he didn’t speak - on legal issues related to doing business in the US. He made sure his family enjoyed the perks of his work. One company he was in-house counsel for gave them regular passes to Disneyland. One client got one son a limo for the prom and also provided his family of five, his sister, and the kids’ friend a 50-seat pink bus to ride from their hotel in London to Heathrow Airport. When in between firms one time, he was on the short-lived game show, Play the Percentages, winning an entire week’s worth of shows and … a brand new car!

 

He spent his later years continuing his voracious reading, always and frequently returning to the spellbinding James Joyce, learning about all sorts of things from the internet and library books, studying exercise programs, watching sports and listening to classical and jazz music and being with and talking to family and friends as often as he could. He took great care of Jan while she fought her blood disease for nearly a decade, driving her to her work and appointments, running errands, and sitting with her while she received blood transfusions, and missed her terribly after she passed in 2020. 

 

At about the time of Jan’s death, George was diagnosed with scarring in his lungs that increasingly debilitated him over the next few years and left him eventually needing oxygen at all times. When he finally caught Covid for the first time, it overpowered his lungs quickly and he died in his sleep a few days later, on November 17, 2023. George is survived by his three sons: Derek (Jenn), Brett (Lydgia), and Doug; his 9 grandchildren: Joshua, Gunnar, Zach, Bronwyn, Haylie, Duncan, Camryn, Elise, and Jett; his sister: SusAnn; and two brothers: John and Jess.

 

A Life Celebration will be held at 1320 Wasatch Drive in Salt Lake City on December 2nd at 10:00 am, with interment at the Salt Lake City cemetery, next to his beloved Jan, to follow.

 
To order memorial trees in memory of George Edward Jarvis, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, December 2, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Starts at 12:30 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 366

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree

Send With Love

Send With Love