KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Marvin Leonard Tassava Sr ., 78, a lifelong resident of Ironwood Township, Mich ., passed away Tuesday, March 18, 2014, while vacationing in Florida.
Marvin was born July 16, 1935, in Ironwood, son of the late Helmi (Talo) and Leonard Tassava, and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School. He married the love of his life, Nancy Marie Sjoman, on July 23, 1955. Together they raised three children, Marvin Jr ., Bliss and John. He worked on his family's dairy farm, drove truck locally, drove bus for Ironwood Township schools, and refereed basketball. He began working as a pipefitter-welder in Local 806, which is now Local 111, of the International Plumbers and Pipefitters Union from 1966 until retirement.
Marvin was very active in the local community and was honored with the Community Volunteer of the Year Award from the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce in 2005. He looked forward to the Christmas season as he played Santa at many functions throughout the community, as well as helping people pick out Christmas trees at Blissful Acres Tree Farm. Marvin started his community involvement working with the local 4-H Club as both a member and leader of the dairy and garden club, and was a volunteer firefighter for Ironwood Township from 1975-1988. He received numerous awards for volunteer work with Lutheran Brotherhood, Aid Association for Lutherans, and now with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. He was also involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Marvin was a very active and lifelong member of St. John's Lutheran Church, serving on the church council for many years. He and his wife were avid rifle hunters and active in the area archery club. They also enjoyed traveling the world, visiting six continents.
Surviving are a daughter, Bliss (Larry) Rovelsky, Ishpeming, Mich .; a son, John (Karon), West Fargo, N.D .; six grandchildren, Gayla (Brad Vokolek), Randy (Britney and Emma) and Andy Rovelsky, and Bryan, Matthew and Justin Tassava; a brother, Jim Tassava, Birmingham, Ala .; special friend, Dorothy Pakonen; and Marvin Jr.'s daughter, Nicole. Also surviving is his dog and faithful companion, Misty T, who could always be found at his side.
Besides his parents, Marvin was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Nancy; son, Marvin Tassava Jr .; and sister, Nancy Mattson.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 29, at 11 a.m ., at St. John's Lutheran Church in Ironwood Township, with the Rev. Kurt Kovanen officiating.
Luncheon will follow at Manny's Restaurant in Ironwood.
Private committal and interment will be in Sunset Acres Cemetery, Ironwood Township, later in the spring.
Marvin's family will greet relatives and friends at the McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home in Ironwood from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, and again from 10 a.m. until service time at the church on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. John's Lutheran Church.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood, where condolences may be expressed online at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.