Marvin Frances Bureau passed away in his sleep April 23, 2018 at Brookdale Place of Wooster after a brief period of declining physical health. Engaged and ever considerate of others to the very end, he had the privilege of joking with staff and guests to his last day. He was married for 63 years to Jeannine Bureau (predeceased) and lived in Wooster since 1955. Marvin lived a full life and was appreciative of the good fortune he had in Life. Marvin worked hard, treated others with consideration, and he and Jeannine created a home in which family knew that they were loved –an admirable legacy by any standard. His repertoire of jokes (some worth repeating, others a bit threadbare), and his unique and creative approach to frugality, where known to many and even those who didn’t know him.
Marvin was born October 29, 1925 in the small, then bustling Ohio River town of Moscow, in the upstairs bedroom of a home without running water. His father ran a ferry boat on the river and Marvin grew up as many did during the Depression, living without much material wealth but well loved. Known as Buddy in his youth, he remembered fondly swimming in the river, riding his bike to movies in New Richmond, listening to Dick Tracy and Orphan Annie on the radio and building model airplanes. He also remembered well the Flood of ’37, where he climbed out the window of the same second story room of his birth and into a rescue boat. At age 14 his mother passed away suddenly and he narrowly avoided his own early demise the same year, when at the last second he opted out of hitchhiking with friends to a dance, where all occupants of the car were tragically killed in an accident. Fortunately though in high school, he did cut short his stint as a smoker when he had to pay to replace a friend’s car seat cover after dropping a cigarette on a double date . . .
Marvin graduated in 1943 with a class of eleven from Moscow High School, and was immediately drafted into the Air Force, training as a radar technician. Through the years his family repeatedly heard the saying he noted while in training, Cheer up! Everyone is of some value in this world –even if nothing other than to serve as a horrible example.
As the war was winding down his B29 group was disbanded and he entered Ohio State University on the GI Bill, graduating with a BS in agronomy in 1950. While working on his MS there in soil chemistry he met Jeannine at a dance, who after learning he was from Moscow, initially thought he was an exchange student and was surprised that he spoke English so well. They were married in 1951 and lived in Columbus while he finished his thesis (typed by Jeannine) and then moved to Mt. Gilead to work for the Soil Conservation Service. In 1955, they moved to Wooster and directly into the house on Ihrig Avenue where they raised a family and remained for fifty seven years. Early on Marvin thriftfully hand dug the foundation for a large kitchen addition, and did all aspects of its completion through the installation of two-for-one sale cupboards from Sears.
He worked for the SCS for 32 years, completing the soil surveys for four counties by walking, sampling and mapping countless individual farms. Through much of 1970’s, the Area Office operated out of Coshocton, and he commuted during the week to a spartan appartment there, to allow his children to remain in school in Wooster.
In 1980 he left federal service to work for the Health Department of Wayne County. Shortly thereafter he entered private consulting for the health departments of several counties and came to know many people over a wide area through his services. From homebuyers to realtors to farmers, anyone that was building on or developing land, required a soil evaluation for a septic system. During his second three decades of soils work, Jeannine was his, live-in secretary taking care of the office side of the business. Marvin finally retired in 2011 after 63 years of professional soils work. It was only the next year that he and Jeannine moved to Brookdale Senior Living. The detail and professionalism of the Bureaus’ work was widely appreciated and almost to his last day, he received calls requesting evaluations.
Though his storied thriftiness was occasionally oblivious, Jeannine was often the better angel of that nature and could convince Marvin to seem a near spendthrift. In the early family years, it was a great joy for them to travel with the children to places and people by travel trailer, attending the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and the Montreal Expo in 1967, as well as camping at many regional parks and local haunts in the Mohican area. In later years they traveled as a couple to Hawaii and Europe (Marvin comforted there by bogus, family-invented currency exchange rates), repeatedly to Alaska, and by small motor home around the country. They were active members in Trinity United Church of Christ of Wooster since 1956.
Comforting is the fact that their home remains in the family, being purchased by a grandson and his wife now starting a new generation. Life is a circle, and that is the ultimate abiding comfort. The Buckeyes and Cavaliers though, will have to carry on without Marvin’s tireless support.
Marvin is survived by son Jeffrey and wife Linda (Hoffer) of Wooster and son Todd and wife Barbra (Belfield) of Hope, Alaska; son-in-law Robert Felty and wife Kathy of Columbus; grand daughter Sarah Felty of Columbus; grandsons Nathan, Shane and wife Alli (Mills) Bureau of Wooster, and Liam Bureau of Hope, Alaska, as well as numerous other relatives. Marvin was preceded in death by his brother William and sister Dot, his dear wife Jeannine, and by daughter Shauna, a loss that one wishes no parent should have to bear.
Friends will be received at the McIntire, Bradham and Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St. Wooster on Thursday evening, April 26, 2018 from 6-8:00 p.m., and one hour prior to the time of the service on Friday.
The service will be held on Friday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home, with the Rev. Dr. Kevan Franklin officiating. Burial will be in the Wooster Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Brookdale Hospice, 3380 Brecksville Rd., Suite 101, Richfield, OH 44286. Phone 440 892-6212.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com
Gifts may be directed to Brookdale Hospice, 3380 Brecksville Road, Suite 101, Richfield, OH 44286. Phone #440 892-6212
Friday, April 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home
Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 6-8:00 p.m. at the funeral home