Marlin George Blayden passed away surrounded by loved ones Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013.
He was born Jan. 26, 1921, outside New Plymouth, Idaho, to Lorn James and Florence Anderson Blayden. Marlin's mother passed away while he was a baby, and he spent the first years of his life living with cousins and being raised by his aunt. Lorn married Ethel Fishback when Marlin was 5 years old. As a youth, he lived in Oregon, Idaho and Washington.
Marlin made his way to Rexburg, where he worked in a bakery while attending Ricks College. He met his lifelong love, Ruth Christina Fry, there. In February 1941, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, and after training, he began his active duty career aboard the USS Idaho. He kept in touch with Ruth by writing letters, and while home on leave, they married Sept. 27, 1943. Marlin returned to duty and trained with the first armored amphibious tank division. His tour of duty included three invasions: the Marshall Islands, Guam and Okinawa.
He was attending Officers Candidate School at the time World War II ended and was discharged from the Marines. Marlin and Ruth returned to Idaho and he began working with his father-in-law at Economy Chevrolet in St. Anthony. He continued to be a member of the Idaho Army National Guard during this time, and when the Korean Conflict began, Marlin was deployed to active duty again. It was during this conflict that Marlin was awarded a Bronze Star.
In 1963, Marlin and Ruth purchased Valley Chevrolet in Salmon, Idaho, and it became Quality Motors. They made their home in Salmon with their four children.
A community leader, he was a volunteer fire chief, member of the Rotary Club for 29 years, president of the Chamber of Commerce, director of the Golf Association and president of the Idaho Automobile Dealers Association. He received two awards that he coveted. The Paul Harris Fellow Award was given to him for his service as a Rotarian, and the Time Quality Automobile Dealers Award recognized him for his work in the automobile business.
Marlin worked with his son, John, at Quality Motors for 17 years before fully retiring at the age of 70. He spent his retirement doing everything that he loved. He played golf and traveled with Ruth whenever possible. They visited family and friends and attended both Marine Corps and Army reunions to visit with old war comrades and share experiences from the wars. He loved to bake and enjoyed showing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren his tricks of the trade.
He is survived by his bride of 69 years, Ruth Christina Fry Blayden; his four children, Jan Blayden of Salmon, Idaho, John (Stefani) Blayden of Herriman, Utah, Judy (Lenard) Hatch of Salmon and Betty Jo (Michael) Evans of Salt Lake City; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were held Saturday, April 6, at Salmon Cemetery with military honors.