Marvin Christian Peterson
March 16, 1933 – Dec. 17, 2019
It is with heavy hearts that the Peterson family announces Marvin’s passing into the arms of Jesus on Dec. 17, 2019, at the Rocky Mountain House Health Centre. Our beloved husband, father, uncle and “Pa” was 86.
Marvin leaves to mourn, Ruth, his loving wife of 59 years; five children, Kevin (Colleen), Warren (Lise), Paul, Rhonda (Monique) and Carla (Ian); eight grandchildren, Travis, Hannah (Lem), Colin, Abbey, Jaxson, Sadie, James and Alana; and one great-grandchild, Hudson.
Marvin was born March 16, 1933, to Oscar and Maggie, at the Peterson homestead in Alhambra. His sister, Doreen (Jessop) died in 2017, and while Marvin had no brothers, his cousin Leo Lund, was always considered one – the trio were inseparable.
His early days were surrounded by family; both the Petersons and the Kirbys lived in the Alhambra district and there was no shortage of aunts, uncles and cousins. The 1930s were hard, but Marvin only had good things to say about it often remarking that “he grew up in a playground.” Marvin started school at Little Horseguard and attended high school in Rocky Mountain House. He enjoyed learning and did well. Numerous A+ report cards and first-place ribbons were kept in his box of treasures.
The early working years included forestry, the sawmill, seismograph, the pulp mill, and surveying for the highways. He’ll be mostly remembered though for his 30-plus years at Westview Plumbing and Heating. With co-owners, brother-in-law Bill Jessop and friend Carl Haupt, Marvin was not only a plumber and a gasfitter, but also head of PR, chief financial officer and official joke-teller. In those days, Westview supplied much of the town’s plumbing and heating needs. Marv was well-known for his quick wit and deadpan delivery. People regularly called into the shop for a coffee and a chat whether they needed plumbing help or not.
Retiring from full-time plumbing, Marvin tackled leisurely pursuits. He had been carving things out of wood since he was a young boy, now he really came into his own. Many are the proud owners of various hand-carved chains, bears, moose, or ‘long-eared hoot owls’. He also carved accurate wooden replicas of tools such as pliers, pipe wrenches and crescent wrenches complete with moving parts. Someone once asked him how he could turn a piece of wood into a bird. Marv told him, “You just carve away the bits that don’t look like a bird!”
From a very early age, music was to play a significant role in Marvin’s life. He took great pride in telling people that he had played the piano for more than 80 years, and the accordion for 75. Marvin never learned to read sheet music, but he could play just about any instrument, in any key. And he made it look so easy. Over the course of eight decades he played with many bands and musicians, no matter the band though, Marv was always there, accordion at the ready.
Marvin loved sports, especially baseball. In his school days, he enjoyed track and field, curling, hockey and baseball. And as a young man, he and Ruth brought home a good selection of bowling trophies. In his later years, if the curling was on TV he’d be watching. If the Blue Jays were playing, the curling became a close second.
Sadly, in 2009, Marvin’s life took a significant detour which left him wheelchair-bound and no longer independent. Surgical complications left him in hospital for more than nine months. He never let it define him though; his disability wasn’t who he was, it was just something that happened to him. Thanks to Ruth, Marvin was finally able to come home. Her commitment and dedication to him and their life in the disability world was a challenge she met, head on. With her continued support, and the assistance provided by West Country Family Services Association, they continued to lead a full and happy life despite the challenges thrown their way.
Marvin continued volunteering on a weekly basis, playing his accordion or the piano at the Westview Lodge, the Good Samaritan or the Rocky Hospital. We often joked that Dad was “in his 80s and playing for the oldies.” With his physical activity now limited he finally took pen to paper, and we all enjoyed his stories, regularly published in the Western Star.
Our family gratefully thanks the nursing team and doctors of Rocky, especially the care and kindness shown to him while he was in palliative care. We also recognize and thank the wonderful staff of West Country Family Services Association for their years of dedication, care and service.
Private interment to take place the morning of Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. A celebration of Marvin’s life will be held at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome in Marvin’s name to the West Country Family Service Association. Condolences may be made to www.rockyfuneralhome.ca.
Rocky and Sylvan Lake Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements, 403-845-2626.