Marvin D. Smith, born July 31, 1925, in Holgate, Ohio, youngest son of Joseph and Julia Shively Smith, brother to Vivian, Jeanie, Don, Lou Ella, and Helen, passed away in his home surrounded by family and friends on Feb. 21, 2007.
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He entered the U.S. Marines in October 1943 and served with the 6th Division in the South Pacific. He was a sniper and saved his squad on one occasion by singlehandedly killing 13 enemy fighters. He was awarded various medals for bravery, including a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for wounds received on the assault of Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa. After numerous surgeries, he was able to walk again but endured pain for the rest of his life.
Marvin married Dorothy Croft and they lived in Lima, Ohio, where he worked as a brakeman on the DT&I Railroad and as a fireman/security guard for the M1 Tank Plant. He patiently taught his children and many children of friends how to waterski. An avid sportsman, he raised dogs and competed in coon dog field trial competitions and sled dog races in the Midwest.
He moved to Big Sky in 1981 to enjoy the beauty and wildness of Montana. Farming with draft horses as a boy, Marvin naturally gravitated to training and caring for injured horses, gaining the title of "Horse Whisperer" among his community. He went out of his way to care for people and animals and help others where possible and remained actively working on the ranch until his final stages of pancreatic cancer.
Marvin is survived by his sister, Helen; sons, Dennis and William; and daughter, Sharman. He was very fond and proud of his granddaughters, Sharra and Shayna, and dearly loved his nieces and nephews.
A special thank you to his friends for their loving support and to the gentle care from Bozeman Deaconess Hospice staff.
Cremation has taken place, and a Wake was held Feb. 23. Private family services will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to any U.S veteran's association or hospice.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 25, 2007