WILLIAM NELSON MARR
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William Nelson Marr passed away on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at age 79 after a nearly year-long struggle with the cancer that claimed his life. He was surrounded by his family and his life at his passing.
Bill was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer 10 months ago. Bill and Judy lived in a remote area of northern Minnesota, twenty miles of gravel road from the nearest town. Their nearest neighbor in the winter was often five miles away. They lived in a beautiful lakeside home that they designed and built in 1979 on Black Duck Lake, Orr, MN. They built it as a replacement for the cabin they had built on Lake Kabetogama in 1963, which was also a beautiful cabin, designed and built by themselves with the added challenge of it being water access only and having one to four children to raise in the process. Due to the remoteness of their Black Duck home, the entire family decided to move Bill and Judy to Bozeman, where they would be closer to medical facilities and family. Judy stayed with Bill in St. Paul for his chemo and radiation while their children found them a wonderful home in Bozeman. The children also cleaned, sorted and packed their belongings from Black Duck (with the help of some of their Black Duck friends) and sold the Black Duck home. The most heartbreaking part for Judy and Bill was that they left their home one morning for a doctor's appointment in St. Paul, Minn., and, due to Bills diagnosis, never got to return to their home of 30 years.
We will miss Bill. He was the best man we ever knew.
Bill lived a life that few of us in the modern world can even imagine. To Bill, family was the most important and precious possession a person could have. He was ALWAYS there to help, whether with simple words of encouragement or solace, or traveling across the country to help a family member in distress.
Bill grew up in Grand Rapids, Minn., and graduated from the University of Minnesota in mining engineering in 1957. Bill loved the outdoors and has taught his family the value found in the simple treasures of hunting, fishing, skiing, and snowmobiling.
Bill and Judy understood and emphasized the value of contributing to society. Bill was a 53-year member of the National Ski Patrol and actively patrolled at the Giant's Ridge Ski Area in Biwabik, Minn., through the end of the ski season of 2012-2013. He skied 28 days in January 2013 at Big Sky, in addition to his full patrol schedule in Minnesota. Bill was instrumental in the formation of Camp 5 Township in northern Minnesota. He served as Town Clerk from 1999 until he moved to Bozeman in July of 2013. The Camp 5 township members voted unanimously to name the town hall Bill Marr Town Hall in his honor.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Judy, and their four children, Kathy Skanes (Alonzo), Kerry Schad (Mike), Ken Marr, and Keith Marr (Lisa); five grandchildren, Mandy Lakso, Kendra Hodapp, Kayla Hodapp, Kanika Lakso, and Loik Marr; and two great-grandsons, Tysen and Jayden Lenzen. He is also survived by his sister, Winnie Rime (Hal).
There will be a Celebration of Life for Bill in Bozeman in a few weeks time and a second one in early summer in Minnesota. The dates for both are still pending.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dahl Funeral Chapels
10 Yellowstone Avenue Billings, MT 59101
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Mar. 9, 2014