Kuehner, Marvin E. M.D.
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Marvin Ernest Kuehner was born in a small white farmhouse in central Texas on October 12, 1934, the only child of Ernest and Blanche (Kilian) Kuehner. His early years were spent on the farm where some of his fondest memories were being chased by turkeys, picking cotton and sleeping under the wagon at noon during the heat of the day. He spent many nights lying on his back at the end of the cotton field looking up at the stars and wondering what they were.
The family moved to a small town in the early forties where his mother and father both went to work in factories. He attended the public schools in Taylor, Texas, and had a very successful athletic career in football, baseball and track and field. He was captain of the football team for two years. He graduated as class valedictorian in 1953 and went on to attend the University of Texas, College of Pharmacy. He worked in a local pharmacy during much of high school and was convinced that he wanted to be a pharmacist. While in college, he decided that he should actually go on further and become a physician and he took pre-med courses in addition to the usual load and graduated with highest honors in 1957.
Marvin married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Langston, while in college, but that marriage did not last. His second marriage to Helen Browning was in 1963 and they were blessed with wonderful children who were nurtured in a loving home. This marriage ended as well. Marvin and Hope Maki were united in marriage in 1990 and both believed this was one of the greatest blessings of their lives.
Marvin went to work as a pharmacist while waiting for medical school. He received a scholarship to Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri and took that state's pharmacy licensing exam and worked through much of medical school as a pharmacist. It became apparent to him that his love was surgery even though his initial thoughts were to be a primary care physician.
He was accepted for a medical-surgical internship at the Jewish Hospital of St Louis, Missouri and subsequently went on to a general surgical residency at that hospital. He completed the residency in 1966 and went into the US Army as part of his deferment obligation.
This was during the Viet Nam era. He was assigned to the United States Army Hospital in Munich, West Germany, where he was able to practice general surgery and travel around Europe. He was Board Certified in General Surgery in 1967. He was honorably discharged from the service as a Major in 1969 and moved to Minnesota, where he joined the Interstate Medical Center in Red Wing, Minnesota, and quickly developed a full practice. Unfortunately, the practice mix was not as he had hoped and when an unexpected vacancy occurred at the Marshfield Clinic, he jumped at this opportunity and joined the Clinic in 1974. The general surgery practice again quickly matured and over the next few years he did something of an internal fellowship in vascular surgery under the expert tutelage of Drs. J. F. Ray, III and W. O. Myers.
This practice rapidly matured and he was instrumental in starting the Peripheral Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory. It was not long until additional surgeons were required and recruited for this service. He became Board Certified in Vascular Surgery in 1982 when the vascular certifications first became available and recertified over the years. He also served the patients of the Marshfield Clinic by organizing and developing the Bariatric Surgery Program, first as something of a lone actor but with persistence the program grew and matured until the current Center of Excellence designation was achieved. He was also able to start the laparoscopic general surgical practice in the late 80's and was able, along with Interventional Radiology, to get the Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair program started and growing.
His most fond memories centered on the many medical lectures that he gave around Central and Northern Wisconsin and on his activity as one of the surgical staff in the general surgery residency program. He always considered it an honor to motivate, watch and help these young people mature and go out into practice on their own.
He served the Clinic in several capacities as well, as a member of the Executive Committee, as a member and chairman of the Salary Committee for many years and finally as the Division Medical Director of most of the surgical services on the Central Campus. He was very proud to have been able to work with so many of the early clinic leaders and always felt that he had a debt to these giants which he tried in part to repay.
He was an active member of Christ Lutheran Church since he first moved to Marshfield and served on the Church's Board of Elders as well as getting the church's lay readers program up and going. He found tutoring students at the Wisconsin Valley Lutheran High school, both challenging and worthwhile. He and his wife contribute to a number of charities including The American Center for Law and Justice, American Leprosy Missions, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Society, Food for the Poor, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Samaritan's Purse, and the Wounded Warrior Project. They support a yearly scholarship at the University of Wisconsin, Wood County Campus, and a yearly scholarship at Taylor High School in Texas.
Marvin had a number of outside interests including astronomy, flying model planes, woodworking, gardening and in his younger days, skiing, jogging and softball. Activity in his final years was markedly hindered by significant arthritis, and finally by his battle with metastatic prostate cancer. Marvin entered eternal life on October 7, 2013. His family will ever be grateful for the care he received from Dr. Hocking, Dr. Van Oudenhoven, the cancer nurses, and the Hospice staff.
Marvin was preceded in death by three of his children, a newborn daughter, Mark and Daryl. He is survived by his wife, Hope, and seven children: Jon of Taylor, Texas; Kathryn (David) Cummings of Marshfield, Wisconsin; Michael (Debbie) of Snoqualmie, Washington; David (Wendi) of Winona, Minnesota; Steven (Wanda) of Four Oaks, North Carolina; Karolyn (Larry) Kuehner-Gray of Chicago, Illinois; and Daniel (Rebecca) of Warrenville, Illinois; and eleven grandchildren: Cynthia, Joshua, Christian, Soffia, Saerina, Sydney, Benjamin, Adelaide, Elizabeth, Sabrina, and Alaina. He was an unselfish person and will certainly be missed, but he was always very quick to remind all that the best days are yet to come.
Last, but not least, Marvin was a true patriot. He held in wonder the truth that God sheds His grace on America, grace that allowed the son of sharecroppers to become a physician and surgeon.
Funeral services will be 11am Thursday, October 10, 2013 at Christ Lutheran Church in Marshfield with Pastor Daryn Bahn officiating. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery, Marshfield with military rites conducted by the American Legion Post 54.
Visitations will be from 5-7pm Wednesday at the Rembs Funeral Home and again on Thursday at the church from 10:30am until service time.
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
Condolences may be sent online to www.rembsfh.com
Rembs Funeral Home
300 South Oak Avenue Marshfield, WI 54449
Published in the Marshfield News Herald on Oct. 9, 2013