Marvin Henry Staver, our Bapa, joined our Nana, Betty Lou Anita, on January 7, 2017. After 69 years of marriage, ten and half months apart were far too long for him, and he was ready.
A proud multi-generational small dairy farmer and skilled carpenter, Bapa spent 90 of his 91 years living in the Sister Bay farmhouse in which he was born – a house that hosted countless card parties, sleepovers with the grandchildren, family dinners for the holidays and just because, and more card parties. At 5:00 each evening, his work overalls already hung until the next round of chores, Nana and Bapa would be ready for the Manhattans he would pour and the “nushies” she would prepare. While he always returned to that farmhouse, he and Nana also made a point of traveling the world, or at least around Europe, Mexico, Canada, and all 50 states. Bapa loved to tease, and had an infectious laugh that naturally drew people to him. Delighting in traumatizing his four grandkids with the rabbit’s foot he always carried for assistance in those card games, he was perhaps the luckiest when it came to love. He and Nana were a formidable team who were rarely apart, and who built a life together that included two daughters, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren (with a sixth on the way) who adored him. Even the family’s dogs knew Bapa by name, and were always excited to visit him – and, perhaps, get a sliver of butter right out of his hand, with him laughing his belly laugh all the while. He was surrounded by love until the very end.
Marvin’s wishes for a private graveside ceremony at Little Sister Cemetery are being followed. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Ephraim Moravian Church, PO Box 73, Ephraim, WI 54211.