Marvin “Marv” LeRoy Gathje, 86, of Chatfield, Minn., passed away on Monday, March 6, 2023, at Oak Lawn Rehabilitation Facility in Mankato, Minn., following a couple months of illness.
Marvin was born February 16, 1937, in Chatfield, Minn., to LeRoy and Helen (Dushek) Gathje. Marvin joined the Navy in 1955 and earned the title of Boilerman Third Class. He served on the USS Hunt. While in the Navy, he met Norma Barker from Maine. They were married December 16, 1958, in Portland, Maine. In 1959 he got an honorary discharge to help his family on the farm in Minnesota. Over the years he worked on several farms, drove hauling gas to homes and did mechanical work. Marvin drove school bus for Chatfield schools for numerous years. In 1969 he finished building a house next to his parents in Chatfield. Almost all of the work was done by him. He resided there until 1983. Later he and Norma divorced.
He then moved to Colorado. On November 7, 1986, he married Donna Brevig. They lived in Colorado for a few years; he worked as ranch hand, riding horses in mountains to herd cattle. They moved back to Minnesota in 2000 and eventually settled in Kellogg, Minn. They both worked at Bouquet Enterprises, making wooden lawn ornaments and other crafts. Marvin also drove school bus in the Kellogg area, where he became friends with numerous kids over the years.
Marvin enjoyed snowmobiling, often going out with friends and riding all day on weekends. Once he and Donna settled in Kellogg, they bought a camper and spent time camping during the summer months. He also spent a lot of time doing woodwork. He made things like lamps, furniture, whirly birds etc. He would cut and create wood items and Donna would decorate it.
He is survived by his daughters Wanda Gathje of Eagle Lake, Minn., and Debra Gathje of Rochester, Minn.; one granddaughter, Amber (Ryan) Siebel of Alamogordo, N. Mex.; one grandson, Reed Merkel of Spring Valley, Minn.; and a great-grandson, Ezekiel “Zeke” Siebel; brother Donald (Louise) Gathje and sister-in-law Bernice Gathje, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife Donna, his parents LeRoy and Helen, son Brian Gathje, grandson Trenton Merkel, and brother Lawrence “Larry” Gathje.
He will be missed by many.
A funeral service was held Friday, March 10, 2023, at 11 a.m. in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home, with Karen Foster officiating. Visitation was one hour prior to the service. Burial took place in Grandview Memorial Gardens in Rochester, Minn.
Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.
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