Gavin Breen McCarten, 53, of Janesville, passed away on Wednesday, May 23 at Mercy Health Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville.
He was born to Robert and JoAnn Staver McCarten on Father’s Day, June 21, 1964 in Great Falls, Montana.
Gavin attended Adams Elementary in Janesville before moving to Darlington. He graduated from Darlington High School Class of 1982. He married Kelly Luce in 1985 and together they had two beautiful daughters, Melissa and Breena.
Gavin was a free spirit with a kind and gentle heart, always willing to help a friend or stranger. He enjoyed helping those who wanted to help themselves. He had enormous charm and a great sense of humor. Gavin’s smile was beautiful to the point of being contagious, making everyone around him feel his love. He was not afraid to humiliate himself to make others laugh.
Gavin had various jobs throughout the years but put his heart into everything he did. He provided for his young family with his Milk Truck business before selling the route in 1997. A job he talked about frequently. He later moved back to Janesville where he was a Master Furniture Builder for Shuler’s Country Furniture and most recently Badger Barnworks. He was proud of his ability to turn even the most warped pieces of barn board into a beautiful dresser or table that families could enjoy for decades.
Gavin was also a talented musician, often singing and playing guitar with his brothers, daughters, cousins and anyone else that would join in. He always had his guitar along just in case an opportunity for a “jam session” arose.
Gavin was a wonderful fisherman, especially enjoying fishing at Yellowstone and Governor Dodge with his brothers, Shawn and Brandon. Gavin often spoke of childhood trips with family each year to the Cisco Chain of Lakes in Upper Michigan. He often told fun filled stories of brotherly adventures during those family vacations.
Family and Friends always meant the world to Gavin. One thing that made him the happiest in life was when he became a grandpa. He would just light up when he was with them. You could see the happiness in his eyes.
Gavin is survived by his father and step mother, Robert & Pennie McCarten of Janesville; daughters Melissa (Jared) Brown, and their sons Walker and Ford, Canton, Ill., and Breena (Josh) Kearney, and their daughter Skylar, Hazel Green; brothers Shawn (Marci) McCarten of Janesville and Brandon McCarten of Monroe; stepbrother, Jasen (Karen) McKee of Rockton, Ill., and stepsister, Brigitt (Bob) Franklin of Janesville. He is also survived by his aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friend Kim Reed.
He is predeceased by his beloved mother JoAnn; maternal grandparents, Charles and Winifred Staver and paternal grandparents, Robert and Mercedes McCarten; stepbrother, David McKee, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, and friends.
Visitation will be Friday, June 8th at 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at Erickson’s Funeral Home, 508 Park Place, Darlington, with services immediately following. Family and friends are invited to an Irish Celebration of Life and Luncheon at the American Legion Post 215, 1400 Keep Street, Darlington, at 4 p.m.
A special thank you to our friend Jerry Lynch of Whitcomb-Lynch Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Janesville, and the wonderful nurses & staff at Mercy Hospital and Mercy Hospice, Janesville.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Gavin’s name.
“You can never give a smile away, it always comes back.”