Marvin Wesley Bartel, 90, died Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at the Faith Lutheran Home in Wolf Point, Mont.
He was born on Jan. 18, 1923, on the family homestead north of Wolf Point to Cornelius and Martha (Schroeder) Bartel.
When he was five years old, he and his twin brother, Monroe, started first grade at the Pioneer School 2 miles east of the farm. The twins only spoke German before attending school. They went to school with their older siblings either by riding horse, walking, or on the horse-drawn sled in the winter months. He continued his education there through the eighth grade and then started high school in Wolf Point. He boarded in town during the week and in the winter months, sometimes staying with his brother, Clarence, and his family, or his sister, Hilda, and her family. He drove back and forth to school in a Model A coupe in later high school years. He graduated from Wolf Point High School in the class of 1941, which included five other sets of twins. The "boys" then returned to the farm and bought it from their parents in 1948.
On June 4, 1950, he married Janice Gunn in a double wedding ceremony with his twin, Monroe, and his bride, Wilma Isle. They all lived together on the family farm until they bought the Earl Maltby place 2 miles south and Marvin and Janice moved there and were blessed with three children. Janice died of cancer in January 1988 and Marvin married Lila Toavs Schmidt in December of 1989. Lila died of cancer in March of 2005.
He lived for 82 years on the farm until he moved to the Harada House east of Wolf Point due to declining health. He later moved to the Faith Lutheran Home in Wolf Point.
He was a lifetime member of the Bethel Mennonite Church, where he accepted the Lord as his Savior and was baptized by Rev. Albert Ewert. He served on the church board, building committee and as a Sunday School teacher for many years. He also served on the Wolf Point School Board for 14 years, nine of those years serving as chairman and on the Montana State School Board for six years with one year serving as president. Other areas where he served in the community were as the Roosevelt County Farm Bureau Board president, Eastern Montana director for the Mennonite Disaster Service and as an insurance adjustor for Mennonite Insurance.
He was an avid reader, especially enjoying Montana history books and keeping up with all the latest political and farm issues by reading the daily paper. He also enjoyed visits, phone calls, and letters from his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Preceding him in death were an infant brother, James; a brother, Clarence; two sisters, Hilda Laubach and Evelyn Lentzner; two infant sons; and two spouses.
Survivors include a son, Rodney, and his wife, Carma, of Wolf Point; two daughters, Meredith Reddig and her husband, Dan, of Lustre, and Wendy Higley and her husband, Ken, of Flower Mound, Texas; eight grandchildren, Carly Klessens and her husband, Michael, of Phoenix, Ariz., Camille Pearson and her husband, Josh, of Billings, Cade Reddig of Chandler, Ariz., Jan Bartel of Roseville, Minn., Lindlee Bartel of Bozeman, Tylan Higley of Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada, Kyle Higley and Karissa Higley of Flower Mound; five great-grandchildren, Sophia and Brayden Klessens and Ellyanna, Garrison and Lincoln Pearson; his twin brother, Monroe, and his wife, Wilma, of Wolf Point; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Wolf Point 100 Club or a charity of your choice.
A viewing was held Oct. 28 at Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel. Burial was Oct. 29 at Wolf Point Bethel Mennonite Cemetery. The funeral service followed the burial at 2 p.m. at Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel in Wolf Point. Condolences can be left for the family by visiting, claytonstevensonchapel.com.
Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel of Wolf Point was in charge of arrangements.