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Former educator and Cherokee Nation Tribal Council member Don Garvin is being remembered for his ability to bring people together and encourage them.
Garvin died Wednesday. He was 90.
Garvin, a descendant of Cherokee settlers from the Trail of Tears, served on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council for four terms. He represented the Three Rivers District for 18 years. One of the accomplishments during his tenure was the $26 million joint venture for the Three Rivers Health Center in Muskogee.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said he and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner send their condolences to Garvins family.
Don proudly served the Cherokee people for many years after first being elected to represent District 4 on the Council in 1999. During his time on the Council Don served in a variety of capacities, including as Secretary of the Council, Hoskin said. He was instrumental in ensuring the Three Rivers Health Center in Muskogee was built to serve his Cherokee constituents. Don always maintained a passion for helping Cherokee elders with their needs, always stressed the importance of educating young Cherokees, and worked to promote Cherokee language and culture.
Muskogee City Manager Mike Miller called Garvin a mentor and a friend.
He was always one of those guys everybody knows and likes, said Miller, who was Cherokee Nation communications officer. He was great at bringing people together and helping people solve problems and get along with each other while they did it. There arent many folks like that.
Garvin taught math and coached at Muskogee Public Schools for 36 years, and taught math at Sequoyah High School for seven and one-half years.
Retired Muskogee science teacher Derryl Venters said Garvin led the math department at Alice Robertson Junior High in 1972.
He was a mentor to all of us who came in, Venters said. He kind of took us all under his wing and encouraged us not to get overwhelmed. Back in those days, Alice Robertson was really big. We had almost 1,000 students and it was nothing for you to have 40 kids in class.
Garvin never lost control, Venters said.
He said you have to show them how much you care before you can show them how much you know, she said. He was always respectful, even when a kid was disrespectful. I never heard of him raising his voice.
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