Warroad, Minn. – William S. “Bill” Marvin, 92, who led the growth of Marvin Windows and Doors from a regional lumber company to a world-renowned manufacturer, died August 31, 2009, at his home surrounded by his family.
His funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the Warroad High School Gymnasium. The Rev. Merna Major will officiate. Visitations will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the William S. Marvin Visitor Center at Warroad, and one hour prior to the funeral at the school. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery in Warroad.
Bill was born on August 25, 1917, at Warroad, Minn., the eldest son of George and Almina Gibson Marvin. He graduated from Warroad High School and the University of Minnesota.
He married Margaret Wallin on March 22, 1941.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Bill worked briefly for General Mills before returning to Warroad in 1939 at the request of his father, George. He joined the Marvin Lumber and Cedar Co. as its eighth employee. Not long after Bill’s return, the company began building custom wood window and door frames to keep the company busy during the winter season.
Bill later pushed to expand the offering to complete windows and doors and led what is now known as Marvin Windows and Doors to become the world’s largest premier made-to-order window and door manufacturer. Bill assumed the company’s presidency and chairmanship in 1960.
Under his leadership, the company grew every year except 1961, when the Warroad factory burned to the ground. Bill most recently served as honorary chairman of Marvin Windows and Doors.
Bill was widely recognized for his multitude of business and civic contributions. He was inducted to the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, Twin Cities Business magazine’s 2007 Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, received the Distinguished Minnesota Award from Bemidji State University and was named to Builder magazine’s 100 most influential building industry leaders of the 20th century. He received the 1988 Moorhead State L.B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award, 1990 Bemidji State University Distinguished Minnesota Award, 1992 University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award, and 1995 Warroad High School Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.
Bill was a past president and a member of the Window and Door Manufacturing Association for 45 years and also served on the Board of Directors. He was involved in the Northwestern Minnesota Manufacturing Association and served as the director of the National Woodwork Manufacturers Association from 1979 to 1981, as well as being a member for a number of years.
He was on the Board of Directors of the American National Bank and Trust in St. Paul, Minn. He was a lifelong member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Warroad.
Along with his involvement in these industry organizations, Bill also devoted much of his time to community organizations. He served as the Warroad Commercial Club President during the 1940s. He was also a member of the Warroad Hospital Board for more than 30 years, and served a number of years as chairman.
Bill volunteered his time and services to the Warroad Fire Department and served as chief for a number of years. He contributed to numerous projects in the Warroad School District, most notably construction of the pool at the Warroad High School.
Bill and his wife, Margaret, will also be remembered in the community of Warroad for their recent endowment of a $15 million scholarship fund to benefit graduates of Warroad High School seeking higher education.
Survivors include his children and their spouses, Frank and Margaret Marvin, Margaret “Peggy” and Sam Johnson, John “Jake” Marvin, George and Mary Marvin, Susan and Keith Marvin and Robert and Loralee Marvin, all of Warroad; grandchildren, Virginia, Daniel, Paul, William, Catherine, Sarah, Jeffrey, Paula, John, Brooke, Mark, James, Desiree, Christine, Victoria, Stephanie and Angela; 25 great-grandchildren; and sister, Mary “Mimi” of Minneapolis.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Margaret; brothers, Frank, Calvin “Cal,” Jack, and Randolph “Tut”; two infant children and one granddaughter, Allison.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Warroad Swim Program Fund through the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the William S. and Margaret W. Marvin Fund benefiting the Warroad High School Scholarship in care of the Minnesota Community Foundation, or the Warroad Senior Living Center Fund in care of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.
Helgeson Funeral Chapel of Warroad is in charge of arrangements. An online guest book may be accessed online at www.helgesonfuneralhome.com.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon September 02, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor