Marvin R Strunk
May 2, 1923 – March 21, 2018
Marvin Robert Strunk was born on May 2nd, 1923 to Louis Henry Strunk and Wilhelmine Schaeperkoetter Strunk in Clayton, Missouri. At 6 months few thought Marvin would survive whooping cough; God intervened. At four years old (1927), with his brother, Norman, his first memory was seeing the Spirit of Saint Louis fly over on Lindbergh’s triumphant return from Paris. Charles A. Lindbergh remained his life-long hero. Two events he said shaped his determination and love of adventure. In 1929 the family moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Having a school teacher father and a civically active mother, Marvin excelled academically and socially. Although growing up during the Depression years meant many sacrifices, the family travelled to many areas of the country following Louis’ continuing education courses. Those experiences furthered Marvin’s love of travel and learning. Central High School was where Marvin really stood out and was active in EVERY aspect of school: editor of 3 yearbooks and newspaper, orchestra, student council, sports, several state drama competitions, etc, and all A’s on report cards. In those years he also earned his Eagle Scout badge. On December 7th, 1941, just seven months after turning 18 and starting college, Pearl Harbor shattered the nation’s peace. The family prayed. Marvin’s path during the war years was clearly God’s intervention, guidance and protection. With his father’s prompting, instead of enlisting, he joined the Navy reserve program. To stay in shape for the inevitable “call-up” Marvin took up boxing, even competing in the 1941 Golden Gloves state competition. In 1942 the Navy sent him to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL for officer training and prep for deployment. Again God guided in a miraculous way as Marvin was then transferred to Boston Massachusetts for supply training at Harvard Business School. From 1944-46 he was deployed on the destroyer, USS Meade, and spent those years in the Pacific arena. God protected. Marvin left active duty (retained Reserve status until 1955) and in 1947 returned to Harvard to complete his MBA. Upon returning to civilian life and with his MBA, Marvin was employed by Marshall Fields in 1947. In 1949 Marvin met Ruth Louise Oakley. On March 18th 1950 they married. In subsequent years Nancy, Tom and Jane were born. They lived in Wilmette then in Winnetka where the family grew and Marvin continued his long list of activities. The family was very active in the Winnetka Bible Church where Marvin served several tenures as Chairman, Board of Elders. Involved in the church activities was always a priority. He and Ruth taught several classes, but most memorable was the Grad-Career group (80-120 attendance) for seven years; students still acknowledge their impact. In 1957 Marvin found his calling as VP at the Madison Bank in downtown Chicago. The small bank grew with his talents in innovation and promotional ability, garnering national recognition. After becoming CEO and President he spearheaded the bank’s expansion to incorporate branch banks. In 1970 Marvin and Ruth purchased their Lookout Point Ranch in the Colorado Mountains. Putting his Eagle Scout expertise to work, he shared his love of camping, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, boating, etc. Into his 80’s he continued to ride horses, walk 5 miles, entertain and write volumes of memories and family histories, in the solitude of his “hundred mile view”. In 1984, his beloved, Ruth, succumbed to cancer. Believing God’s plan for him was unshakable, he persevered. Marvin was soon tapped by the Illinois Governor to be the Chairman of the UISS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Commissioning Committee. His yearlong organization and leadership prompted much celebrity, friendships and a trip around Cape Horn aboard the newly commissioned aircraft carrier. Following retirement in 1988 he continued and expanded his activities: Board/President of Harvard Business School Chicago, Chicago Navy League, Economic Club Chicago, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Board, Navigators, Juvenile Protection Agency and Illinois Bankers Association. For eight years he tutored Math in inner city high schools. He was asked to lecture on banking and small business management in Russia, Viet Nam, China and the U.S. The Russian lecture opportunities led to eight trips there from 1991 to 2002 and a lasting friendship with Professor Vladimir. Marvin travelled to Europe, Africa, and Asia as a representative of The Navigators. He was a member of the State of Illinois delegation to open trade offices in Mexico. Traveling on the QE2 to the Far East, climbing to Machu Picchu in South America and many other foreign experiences kept his many journals filled with the joy of each trip. Marvin cherished life for 94 years. Now he is being greeted in eternity by his Savior saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Marvin Robert Strunk is survived by three children, thirteen grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
- Visitation Sunday, March 25, 2018
- Funeral Service Monday, March 26, 2018
Marvin R Strunk
April 2, 2018
I just remember what a wonderful team Marv and Ruth were in teaching the Grad Career group. Their guidance and wisdom made such an impact on my life and christian journey and was so fortunate to know them.
My deepest sympathy.
Diane Cederlund Morgan