Marvin Arthur Wicks, age 95, of Rochester, Minn., died Monday, May 22, 2023, at the Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester.
Marvin Wicks was born May 12, 1928, in Bluffton Township, Winneshiek County, Iowa, to Claude and Olive (Olson) Wicks. He was baptized at the Advent Christian Church in Burr Oak, Iowa, by Pastor Gordon Kess. He attended elementary school at District #3, the McCaffrey School in Bluffton Twp. and graduated from Decorah High School in 1946. He then farmed with his father for two years, took flying lessons at the Tatro Airport, west of Decorah, until 1948 when he joined the Air Force, where he trained as an aircraft mechanic. In December 1949, he was accepted into the Aviation Cadet program for pilot training. Upon graduation in February 1951, with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, he was assigned to the recalled Texas National Guard, and moved to Korea.
Marvin and Virginia (Quandahl), daughter of Harry and Vera (Walters) Quandahl, were married at the Burr Oak Lutheran Church on September 20, 1952, by Pastor Erling Wold.
Marvin continued his Air Force career, joined by his wife and children as the years passed. They served in Texas, Virginia, Illinois, Kansas, and his family accompanied three year tours in England and Japan. Marvin also was stationed at Misawa, Japan; Fairbanks, Alaska; Tripoli, Libya and several stateside bases prior to, and after his marriage to Virginia. He flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. While in England, during the Cold War period, he was part of the alert forces, which was prepared 24 hours a day to launch strike aircraft loaded with nuclear weapons. He retired from Tactical Air Command Headquarters as Chief of the Material Inspection Division, on May 1, 1971, with the rating of Command Pilot and the retired rank of Lt/ Col. He had accumulated over 4,400 hours of flying time in jet fighter aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (3), Air Force Commendation Medal, Korean, Vietnam and United Nations Service Medals.
Following military service, they purchased a dairy farm in 1972 near Rochester, Minn., in Eyota Twp. They later moved to Harmony, Minn., in 1995, and then to The Homestead in Rochester in September 2017.
Marvin was a Farm Bureau member, a member of the Sons of Norway, life member of both the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a life member of Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa. In recent years, he had worked as a volunteer doing archival work at the Winneshiek County and Harmony Historical Societies. He and his wife were active members of Greenfield Lutheran Church in Harmony.
He is survived by one son, Clinton (Jean) of Dodge Center, Minn., three daughters: Gail Abele of Highland Village, Tex., Amy Petersen of Albert Lea, Minn., and Laura (Donald) Strickland of Alvarado, Tex.; grandchildren Cory and James Wicks, Torrance and Addison Petersen, and Augustus and Alison Strickland; great-grandchildren Samantha Lane, Brecken and Avery Wicks and Charles and Makenna Wicks; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Virginia on October 6, 2011, his parents, three brothers: Harley (age two), Leonard and Marion, a sister, Marie Snyder; brother-in-law Paul Snyder and sisters-in-law Joan Wicks and Glorianne Wicks.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 26, 2023, at Greenfield Lutheran Church in Harmony, Minn., with visitation one hour prior to services at the church, beginning at 10 a.m. Graveside services including military honors will be held at the Burr Oak Cemetery in Burr Oak, Iowa. Lindstrom Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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