Marvelous Marvin Merlin Marlin
Martin from Missoula Montana (or was it Minneapolis,
Minnesota…maybe), 84, went to be with
his Lord and Savior, Jesus, on December 26th, due
to complications from cancer. He is survived and
oh so fondly remembered by his best friend and
loving wife of almost 47 years, Ardis Martin, his
children Debbie Olsen and Mark Martin, and his
adoring 5 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren,
nephews and nieces.
He was born Marvin D. Martin, in July of 1933.
Despite his moniker he actually hailed from Reedsburg, Wisconsin - born
to William and Amanda Martin. He had two older brothers, Wilber and Ken
who both headed to heaven before him and, no, doubt, met him as soon
as he arrived. In Reedsburg he developed a strong mid-west work ethic, a
love of all things diary - especially ice cream, and a penchant for welcoming
every guest like family.
He graduated Reedsburg High School in 1951 where he was on the debate
and tennis teams. An early master of the side hustle, he set pins at the local
bowling alley and managed a paper route as well. He also took on a role
that would be his life’s vocation - working at the local grocery store. He
parlayed that experience into managerial positions with Kroger, becoming
the youngest manager in company history at the age of eighteen. He then
moved on to Safeway, rising through the ranks with his trademark humor,
consistently positive outlook on life and an eye for the details.
As his career was taking off, so was his family. He met and married is first
wife Faythe Redal, in September 1955 in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Together
they had a beautiful daughter, Debbie. In 1957 the family moved west to
Klamath, Oregon in order to be near Faythe’s family. Marv opened and
managed the first Safeway store in Klamath Falls. They attended Klamath
Lutheran Church, pastored by Faythe’s father.
In March 1961, the family left Klamath Falls and moved to Taft Oregon
to open a Safeway store at the coast. That same year, September 1961, Marv
and the family moved to Salem, Oregon to open two Safeway stores, West
and East Salem. In 1964 Marv opened his own grocery store, Martin’s IGA.
Those that shopped there still remember it fondly as a place where Marv’s
kindness and spirit of giving burned bright. Sadly, Faythe preceded him in
death in 1968.
In 1970 Marv met Ardis Swartwout. They married in 1971 and together
they joyfully ushered Mark into this wonderful world.
Upon the closing of Martin’s IGA, Marv worked for the State of Oregon’s
Employment Department for 18 years, taking with him that same spirit of
servant leadership and commitment to help others. He retired from the
State July 31, 1997.
Marv was an amazing man, full of fun and fervor, determination and
doting and an abundance of glorious eccentricities. He loved blueberries,
golf (he taught himself in retirement and then took to schooling others
on the greens), cooking, spending time with friends, spending even more
time with family, engaging in political arguments, good natured jokes and
Christmas. He loved, loved, loved Christmas. He loved showering his family
- and especially his grandkids and great grandkids with presents and he
loved taking the time to share gifts with friends and neighbors to remind
them that they were special to him.
A service to celebrate the life of this marvelous man will be held on Saturday,
January 20th at 1:30 PM at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church - 1770
Baxter Rd. SE, Salem, OR 97306.
Memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, can be sent to either
Marv Martin Youth Education Memorial - Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
- 1770 Baxter Rd. SE, Salem, OR 97306, or
Marv Martin Nursing Education Memorial - Salem Health Foundation