Thief River Falls - Marvel Lorraine Van Rooy, 89, passed away peacefully with family by her side on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls.
A celebration of Marvel's life was held on Friday, Jan. 17, at the United Methodist Church. Casket bearers included Mark Haugen, Stewart Jay Koski, Cory Helland, Chris Melbye, and Cal Michaels. Honorary casket bearers included all of Marvel's great-grandchildren.
Marvel Lorraine Grovum was born on April 7, 1924, in Grygla, to parents Gunder and Mildred (Holbrook) Grovum. Mildred passed away when Marvel was young, and Marvel was blessed with a loving and wonderful mother in Gladys (Johnson) Grovum when Gunder remarried.
Marvel lived in Grygla until she was 14 years old, when her family moved to Thief River Falls. She liked to tell the story of how, since there was no high school in Grygla, her family moved everything — including their house — to Thief River so she could attend Lincoln High School.
After high school, Marvel went to business school in Grand Forks, worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in Montana, and later worked in Minneapolis.
In 1947, she returned to Thief River Falls, where she worked at Jung's Bakery. She first met her future husband and the love of her life, Dr. George Van Rooy, in Thief River when she was in the hospital for an appendectomy.
She and George married on June 9, 1949 — and then, that same day, they moved to Dallas, Texas. They returned to Thief River Falls in 1950.
Over the course of her life, Marvel loved her family, taking care of her husband, throwing dinner parties, fancy shoes, Dairy Queen ice cream, gardening, knitting and sewing, mystery novels, going out to lunch, and golf, golf, golf. After a lifetime of hitting the links, she sunk her first hole in one at age 75, and her second at 80.
Marvel was a volunteer and driving force in the local Hospital Auxiliary, and a member of the United Methodist Church. She also enjoyed volunteering for the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
In retirement, Marvel and George split their time between Minnesota and Arizona. In recent years, Marvel lived year-round in Thief River Falls. She lived first with her daughter's family, eventually moving to Valley Home's Memory Care unit, and, most recently, the Thief River Care Center. The care staff at both facilities was exceptional.
Survivors include Marvel's daughter Penny (Jim) Haugen, and her son Mark Larson; granddaughters Jennifer (Jay) Koski, Amy (Cory) Helland, Angela Haugen (and friend Chris Melbye), Simone Larson, and Noelle Larson; great-grandchildren Alexa, Chloe, Christian, Kaela, Bergen, Ben, Gracie, Isaac, and Geneva; her sister, Donna; and many nieces and nephews.
Marvel was preceded in death by her husband, George Van Rooy, her mother, Mildred, her father, Gunder, her mother, Gladys, her brothers, Wally and Ronnie, brother-in-law Bill Reed, and sister-in-law Carole Grovum.
Arrangements were with Johnson Funeral Service of Thief River Falls, and messages of condolence may be sent at johnsonfuneralservice.com. Memorials are preferred through the Dr. George T. and Marvel Van Rooy Scholarship Fund through the Thief River Falls Education Foundation.