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Woodlawn Funeral Home Obituaries

Marvin Janzen , Age: 92
October 06, 1930 - February 25, 2023


Marvin Janzen, 92, gently passed away in the loving presence of family at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Lacey

due to respiratory failure on February 25, 2023.

Born in Buhler, Kansas to Russian/German parents who immigrated to the U.S., Marv experienced a strong

Mennonite upbringing. His family moved to Bellingham and maintained a small farm while his father worked at a

cement plant. When not under the strict eye of his father, Marv routinely exercised his panache for

mischievousness, which ultimately carried into adulthood. The twinkle in his eye would give him away if one

were fast enough to see it.

Marv graduated from Blaine High School in 1948. He enlisted in the Army and served at the White Sands Missile

Range in New Mexico from 1951 to 1953. After returning home, he worked at Bremerton Naval Shipyards and

met Ruby, who he soon married. The following year, they sadly lost their first child, John, who died shortly after birth.

Marv re-enlisted in the Army’s Signal Corp and left for training six days prior to his daughter Kathy’s birth, then
flew to Ankara, Turkey. The following year, after his second daughter, Theresa, was born, Ruby and the girls

joined him. They had two more children, Mary and Marvin, and returned to Washington in 1960.

Marv also served in Bolivia and Viet Nam. While in Viet Nam, his exposure to Agent Orange greatly impacted

his health later in life.

He proudly received a Commendation Medal in 1971 for serving as Officer-in-Charge of an Alabama pilot train

during Operation CHASE. This was a highly controversial military project that transported railroad cars carrying

thousands of deteriorating gas rockets from storage depots in Alabama and Kentucky to North Carolina. The

rockets were dropped into the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles off Cape Kennedy, FL. 

Marv retired from the Army in 1974 and Marv and Ruby moved to Goldendale when he went to work for Martin-

Marietta Aluminum plant. He later retired from the plant and was able to devote his extra time to his beloved

hobby of building and restoring classic cars. He continued this passion when he and Ruby finally settled in


His family will tell you that Marv unashamedly flirted with every attractive female he met and would hold endless

conversations about his two great loves: classic cars and the Army. He loved to tell jokes and often showed

surprising wit. He easily started conversations with strangers and loved to go on road trips. He and Ruby traveled

Route 66 multiple times during his lifetime. Marv loved to feel the road beneath his feet. His last trip has left a big

hole in our hearts. He is forever loved.

Marvin is predeceased by his parents, John A. Janzen and Helen (Karber) Janzen; sister, Bernice (Janzen) Jensen;

brother, Delmar Janzen; and son, John N. Janzen.

He is survived by his wife, Ruby; four children, Kathy (Kirk) Kaiser, Theresa Janzen, Mary (Elee) Fairhart, and

Marvin R. Janzen; five grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

A memorial service honoring Marvin’s life will be held at 12:00 pm on Friday, March 17, 2023, at Woodlawn

Funeral Home, 5930 Mullen Road SE, Lacey. The family asks that guests arrive early since military honors will

begin promptly at 12:00 and include a flag presentation, taps and three rifle salute. Friends and family are invited

to a reception following the brief ash-spreading ceremony at the Scatter Garden.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Disabled American Veterans (DAV), 420 Golf Club Road

SE, Lacey, WA 98503, (360) 459-7400,


Additional Service: Celebration of Life
Location: Woodlawn Funeral Home
Address: 5930 Mullen Road SE
City: Lacey
State: Washington
Zip Code: 98503
Date of Service: March 17, 2023
Time of Service: 12:00 PM
Additional Information: No Additional Information Added


Diana Terry March 13, 2023

Friend of Theresa Spanaway , Washington

My sincerest condolences on the passing of Marvin. I hope that you will find comfort in many great memories. RIP Sir and may God Bless your family

Carolyn Hawkey March 14, 2023

Friend of his daughter Enter your city , Washington

Mary, I’m so sorry to hear that your daddy passed. It’s hard to lose a dad. Praying for your whole family and your mom. Love you!

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