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In Memory Of Our Poets

Gene Leslie Jarvis (1932-2010) - Class Of 1951

JARVIS, Gene L., 77, of Savannah, Georgia, died December 11, 2010, at St. Joseph's Hospital after an extended illness. Gene was born in Sylacauga, Alabama, September 22, 1932, to John Leslie Jarvis and Ida Holmes Jarvis. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 - 55 as a member of the Army Band, then as Chaplain's Assistant at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Gene graduated from Huntingdon College in Montgomery with honors and obtained a Master's Degree in Music History and Organ Performance from the University of Alabama in 1960, where he was a member of honors music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha. Further study was at Westminster Choir College (now Ryder University) with Alexander McCurdy and at the Washington National Cathedral with Paul Calloway. Gene served as Minister of Music at Capitol Heights United Methodist Church in Montgomery for 8 years, then at Memorial Presbyterian Church for 21 years before coming to Savannah in 1984. He was a member of the music faculty at Huntingdon College; conductor of the Montgomery Civic Chorale for ten years, harpsichord soloist with the Birmingham Symphony, Montgomery Symphony, U.S. Navy Symphony, and University of Alabama Symphony. He was harpsichordist with the Birmingham Musica Antiqua and the Friends of Early Music. He performed organ and harpsichord concerts under management of Alabama Artist Series in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina and Colonial Williamsburg. He traveled with his harpsichord to three Southeastern Regional Conventions of the American Guild of Organists and was featured soloist two years at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston. He served two terms as Chairman of Area VI, American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, was a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society. After moving to Savannah and retiring from full time church music, Gene remained active as staff accompanist at Armstrong State College, accompanist for the Savannah Symphony Chorale, was a charter member of the professional choral group I Canotri, and harpsichordist with the Savannah Symphony Chamber Orchestra. He was a coordinator and performer for the noonday organ concerts during Savannah Onstage music week and Savannah Music Festival. He began the Bach Festival concerts at Lutheran Church of the Ascension presented in July for ten consecutive years. He served as interim organist at the Lutheran Church for three years, remaining active in that church in all phases of its music programs and was frequently called on to substitute as organist for worship services in many area churches. Gene loved making music, talking and teaching about all phases of his special interest: The Baroque era and J.S. Bach. Those who watched him perform and performed with him never douted his love, total commitment, and joy in sharing his God given talents, which was the mission of his life. Gene is survived by his wife of 55 years, Beverly Dean Jarvis; Son, Paul (Kathy) Jarvis and Granddaughter Emory, of Birmingham, Alabama; Daughter, Anne (Dan) Roper of Framingham, Massachusetts, Sister, Betty Darden of Orlando, Florida; Brother, Col.(Ret.) George M. Jarvis of Rye, New Hampshire; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws who loved him dearly. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Organ Fund, Lutheran Church of the Ascension, 6 East State St., Savannah, Georgia 31404 Memorial Services will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 16, 2010, at the Lutheran Church of the Ascension, 120 Bull St., Wright Square, Savannah, Georgia. Fairhaven Funeral Home, Hubert C. Baker Chapel 912-927-1999 www.fairhavenfuneral home.net