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Boy Scouts volunteer Lillian McGarvey dies

Lillian McGarvey died pancreatic cancer at age 91.

Lillian McGarvey died pancreatic cancer at age 91. Photo Credit: Handout

Lillian McGarvey's impact on Long Island came in the form of Boy Scouts pledging to do their duty to God and country. It came in showing visitors the best trails to hike. And, her son John McGarvey said, it also came in making sure the American flag was raised and folded properly.

The Westhampton woman, who died last Thursday of pancreatic cancer at age 91 and was buried Tuesday, was a volunteer for a number of causes.

"They'd been there [on Long Island] since the '50s, raised all of us in Westhampton. They saw it [Long Island] as their home and their community," John McGarvey, 65, of Coram, said of his parents.

Lillian (Langguth) McGarvey grew up in Manhattan, where she graduated from Julia Richman High School.

After she and her husband, Michael McGarvey Jr. had their four children, the family moved from Manhattan to Westhampton in 1954, John McGarvey said.

She worked at Peconic Bay Medical Center as a clerk for about 20 years in the '60s and '70s, and continued volunteering at the nonprofit hospital after her retirement.

Even after her sons graduated from the Scouts, Lillian McGarvey continued volunteering for the Suffolk County Council of the Boy Scouts of America in the '60s and '70s, training adults on forming Boy Scout troops and being Scoutmasters.

She felt Scouting "gave kids a chance to get the right set of standards," John McGarvey said.

Her husband, who died in 1999, also was involved as a volunteer commissioner of the Boy Scout Council.

After their retirements around 1980, the McGarveys also volunteered at the Long Island Greenbelt Trail's information booth in Manorville for several years.

She continued volunteering at the information booth until last year.

"They were able to describe what the trails were like," John McGarvey said. She was also vocal about making sure other volunteers raised and folded the American flag correctly.

"To their core, they believed in volunteering, and giving back to their community and their country," said her daughter, Elizabeth McArthur, 62, of Westhampton.

McGarvey also is survived by son Michael R. McGarvey III of Iola, Texas; and 10 grandchildren. She is also preceded in death by another son, James McGarvey.

Burial was at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Southampton.

Donations can be made to Peconic Bay Medical Center or the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference.

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