Marvin Glen Pellett retired his earthly body on May 24, 2019. He was born to Clifford Claney Pellett and Dessie May (Thomas) Pellett on May 26, 1926, near Fort Scott Kansas.
Marvin’s earliest memories were growing up on a farm that his father managed for a banker. During the Great Depression, it became unbearable watching the government intervene culling the herds, while many people had difficulty affording food. His family relocated to a smaller farm just one and one-half miles from a one-room schoolhouse with a wall held up by telephone poles.
Marvin’s father was seriously injured when Marvin was only fourteen years old. He had a mother and three younger sisters to care for. He went to work hoeing weeds in the cornfields. He provided his own hoe, water, lunch, and earned fifty cents a day. He and his mother sold eggs and vegetables they raised. Marvin was a good shot with a twenty-two. Neighbors would call on him at butcher time and share their meat with his family. There was no electricity or refrigeration at the time. When they needed meat he could always get a rabbit with his twenty-two.
Marvin worked numerous part-time jobs while he was attending Fort Scott high school, including at Western Union, Chevrolet, Pontiac and Ford. His ten-mile bike ride to school and work got tiresome, so he built himself a motorcycle in the school shop. He sold it, built another, and was back on his bike. The owner of the Ford business felt compassion for Marvin riding his bike in Kansas’ freezing winter. He offered a broken down 1929 Chevrolet abandoned in Missouri, that belonged to Ford, to Marvin for twenty-five dollars if he could get it home and repair it. He hitchhiked to Missouri and did just that. He had his first car, Kilroy. During government gas rationing he could only drive him and his sisters to within a mile of school and they walked from there. During winter, Marvin helped one of his neighbors, Mr. Dugan, rebuild a Nicholes and Shepard Thresher and Case steam engine. Come harvest they threshed for all their neighbors.
In 1944 Marvin started going to western Kansas to work the wheat harvest during summers, he would return to Fort Scott in winters for college. He also worked for the Air Force in Garden City until World War II ended. One evening Marvin and his friends attended a theatre in Garden City. They were seated a few rows behind four young women. One was quite attractive, her name was Edna Lobmeyer. Marvin tossed popcorn into her hair and she tossed it back. When the movie ended Marvin and his friends walked the girls to the boarding school where they lived. Edna was Marvin’s first girl, his last and his everything. They were married on April 22, 1948, in Garden City Kansas. Marvin taught school three years in western Kansas, living in a trailer with Edna, on school property two of those years.
Marvin and Edna moved to Wichita. Marvin worked eight hour nights at Boeing Aircraft and attended Wichita University days. He bought a 1948 trailer in 1951 that served as the Pellett family home until it was lost to a crash in 1954. After completing his degree Marvin taught high school science in Wichita for three years. During summer Marvin and Edna moved their family trailer and combine around Kansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma harvesting.
Marvin and Edna moved to Atascadero, Calif. in May 1954. Marvin worked for an uncle building homes in Atascadero and in fall started teaching school in Templeton. They bought their first house on Santa Ysabel Ave.
Besides teaching high school Marvin tutored engineers from the California Department of Transportation to help them with their state required tests. In 1957 Marvin’s doctor suggested that his hearing was too poor to continue teaching. He tested for Civil Engineer, passed the test, and began working for the department of transportation when the school year ended in July 1957. Several early years involved working away from home, leaving 4:30 a.m. Monday and returning between 8:00 p.m. to midnight Friday. Marvin worked for Caltrans until his retirement at the age of sixty-five in 1991.
Never one to sit still, Marvin started Pellett’s Christmas Tree Farm in 1979 and continued to work the farm and sell trees through 1999.
One of Marvin’s most satisfying accomplishments was building a family home that he designed himself. It took three years to build the home. Most work was done on weekends, due to Marvin’s work schedule, and involved the entire family. Marvin moved his family into the home in March 1971 and enjoyed living there until 2019.
Marvin is survived by his children: Arlene Wise, Carol Pellett, Becky Pacas, Gary Pellett, daughters-in-law: Karen Pellett and Hazel Pellett. He is also survived by grandchildren: Ostin Moon III, Clifford Pacas, Monica Pacas, Henry Pellett, Christina Pellett, Patricia Dea, grandson-in-law Erich Dea, five great-grandsons: Isaac, Alistair, Sebastian, Max and Carl Dea and two nieces: Linda Thomson and Ester Ann McCracken. He was preceded in death by his wife Edna Pellett, sons: Glen Pellett and Mike Pellett, sisters: Inez Pellett, Elma McCracken and Ruby Pellett, and grandson George Pellett.
The Pellett family thanks Ingleside Assisted Living for providing comfort in Marvin’s final days.
Graveside services will be held Wednesday, June 12 at 11 a.m., Atascadero Cemetery.