Marvin Elnar Karlsen (1927 - 2019)

  • "Uncle Marvin believed and lived that Only One Life Twill..."
    - Merle & Peggy Davis
  • "Psalm 90:10 says that the days of our years are 70 years,..."
  • "Marvin was a friend to me as a young boy in ND. I still..."
    - LeRoy Nelson
  • "What beautiful memories I have of Marvin. All the visits..."
    - Louise Amberg
  • "Uncle Marvin showed the love of Jesus so much! When he..."
    - Carol Gehlsen
Service Information
Layne's Battle Ground Funeral Home
16 NE Clark Ave.
Battle Ground, WA
Friday, Jun. 7, 2019
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Hockinson Apostolic Lutheran Church
16108 NE 192nd Ave.
Brush Prairie, WA
View Map
Funeral service
Friday, Jun. 7, 2019
11:00 AM
Hockinson Apostolic Lutheran Church
16108 NE 192nd Ave
Brush Prairie, WA
View Map

June 18, 1927 ˜ May 22, 2019

Marvin Einar Harold Karlsen was born June 18, 1927 in Minot, North Dakota to Einar and Elina Karlsen and raised in the community of Foxholm, North Dakota. He was ninety-one years old May 22, 2019 when he peacefully fell asleep in Jesus, at the home he shared with his wife Marilyn for most of their sixty-three years of marriage. There in Hockinson, Washington near Brush Prairie, they raised their family, in the quiet countryside of their well-loved house and yard.
Marvin left North Dakota after he finished high school, but he never forgot it and went back often. He lived ten years in St. Helens, Oregon and awhile in Portland, Oregon. He courted his dear North Dakota girl “out west” and soon after their marriage, they moved to Hockinson, Washington. He was a devout Christian, who prioritized his Christianity, and was a dedicated member of The Apostolic Lutheran Church in Hockinson since 1956, helping in numerous ways, including helping to hand-dig a well to bring running water to the church in the early years. He also spent many years serving on the regional Western Mission Board, as well as many years on the board of the Finn Hill Cemetery.
Marvin was a devoted husband and father, who clearly put family first, while enjoying life to its fullest, always ready for an adventure. He was an avid motorcycle rider, logging hundreds of thousands of miles, including many trips and rides, as well as a long work commute, where he worked at Portland General Electric Company, for more than thirty years. He liked being outside, working in his woods, making firewood, mowing the lawn, camping, riding motorcycle and bicycling, as well as just enjoying the sunshine, or reading by his wood stove.
Traveling was a favorite for both he and Marilyn. They made yearly trips to the Midwest, especially North Dakota, taking their children on memorable road trips there and elsewhere. As the children grew up, Marvin and Marilyn continued traveling and they visited many of the states in America, several provinces of Canada, and about ten trips to Finland to visit their son and family, as well as ten or so other European countries. Marvin was an eager participator in whatever was going on. He is well remembered for looking at the sunny side of rainy camping trips! He was friendly, with a warm smile, and definitely enjoyed visiting people. He genuinely loved others and went to great lengths to overlook their faults and “put the best construction on them”. Think the best!
He is mourned by his dear wife, Marilyn, as well as their nine children: Laura Matson with husband Van of Battle Ground, WA; Gail Spreadborough with husband Alan of Battle Ground, WA; Amy Helmes of Vancouver, WA; Corrie with wife Mary Ann of Livermore, CA; Neal with wife Lynn of Battle Ground, WA; Dwight of Vancouver, WA; Roger with wife Rachel of Battle Ground, WA; Curtis of Washougal, WA and Wade with wife Anna of Siuntio, Finland. He also leaves forty grandchildren and thirty-nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Einar and Elina Karlsen; brothers, Kenneth, Robert and Harley; and sisters, Clara and Donna Mae.
Marvin will be deeply missed by his siblings: Ruth Ankenbauer with husband Robert of Vancouver, WA; Lois Allen with husband Leon of Canton, TX; Milford with wife Donna of Battle Ground, WA; Joyce Klaus of Vancouver, WA and Victor with wife Kiki of Battle Ground, WA. Numerous nieces and nephews, and thousands of people who knew and loved him and will miss his warm friendly self.
His funeral service is planned for Friday, June 7th, 2019 at 11:00, beginning with a time of viewing 10:00-10:50 at Hockinson Apostolic Lutheran Church, 16108 NE 192nd Ave., Brush Prairie, WA 98606. He will be buried in Finn Hill Cemetery, Brush Prairie, WA.
Arrangements are being made by Layne’s Funeral Home in Battle Ground.
Please sign his guest book @

Published in The Columbian on June 4, 2019
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