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Nov. 30, 1933 – Nov. 21, 2012

Edward Bruce Garver, an architect and designer, known for his leadership in the Alcoholics Anonymous community, sense of fun and elegant taste, died Nov. 21 in the veterans hospital in Tuscon, Ariz. He was 78.

Mr. Garver, a graduate of Nichols School and Princeton University, earned his master’s degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and served as Buffalo’s urban design coordinator in the early 1970s.

His career as an architect and designer continued in New York City, Newport, R.I., and Silicon Valley. In the Los Angeles area, he was known for designing two medical office buildings for health insurer Kaiser Permanente.

His Buffalo legacy includes rescuing five connected, brick, tenement-style houses on North Pearl Street. He bought them for little money just before they were to be torn down, remembers his niece Julia Garver.

The 1888 Romanesque buildings with intact porches under wrought-iron-trimmed archways were intended for gentlemen tenants but were neglected and filled with debris and stench when Mr. Garver began to renovate them in 1972.

In his retirement years, Mr. Garver focused his energy on the AA community, mentoring young men in sobriety. He was a member of the boards of directors of the Clare Foundation in Los Angeles and Cazenovia Recovery Systems in Buffalo, both major recovery centers in their respective cities.

Julia Garver remembers her uncle for warmth and a sense of humor that included his arrival from a trip to Mexico at Christmas. He had a huge basket filled with souvenirs, toys and trinkets, which he pulled out one by one and gave to his nieces and nephew.

“It was like Santa Claus,” she said. “He made people comfortable. You always laughed around Bruce.”

He is survived by his older brothers, Newton and Theodore.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 27 in Forest Lawn Chapel.