Marvin Alfred Reiser (known to many as Joe)
On the evening of Friday May 14, 2021, Marvin passed away peacefully at the Grey Nuns Hospital at 79 years old. Marvin had Tyler and Jessica (two of his grandchildren) by his side when he took God’s hand.
Marvin was born in Edmonton on August 7, 1941 to Valentin and Hanna Reiser. He had three siblings, one younger brother (Gordon) and two older sisters (Myrtle and Anita). Marvin and his siblings were raised on a farm in Rolly View which he and Gordie eventually took over. It was at that farm that both he and Gordie raised families of their own. On November 8,1963 Marvin married Alma Roeder and went on to raise two daughters, Laurie & Shelley. Laurie stayed local as she grew up, and Shelley moved to Manitoba and then Ontario as her own family grew. In 2001, Marvin and Gordie sold the dairy and Marvin and Alma bought the farm across the road so that they could remain close to their first two born grandchildren (Tyler and Jessica) in order to help raise them. Even though Shelley (Jason), Kaylee, Jenna, and Kobe did not live nearby, Marvin did what he could to support them and show them that he cared. He may not have been a traveller, but he made sure to visit them when he could.
Anyone who knew Marvin, knew how important supporting the community was to him. He served on the Rolly View church council as well as the Rolly View hall committee. Marvin volunteered whenever he could. Whether it was for the Farmers Day Baseball Tournament where he would do different jobs including taking tickets at the gate, or volunteering at a dance or event at the hall where he would work behind the bar or offer help wherever help was needed. Beyond just volunteering, he also believed in donating to those less fortunate. Marvin would donate to charities but he would also give whatever money he had in his wallet to people living on the street, whether it was $5 or $50, he would give them what he could. He never did it for the recognition, he did it because he truly believed in helping others.
Marvin had two loves in his life, family and farming. In his earlier years he enjoyed playing hockey for the Rolly View Goodtimers and curling. Marvin also loved dancing, especially a good polka and waltz. As he grew older he enjoyed watching sports, old cartoons, or game shows on TV, but that was only if he wasn’t sitting at the kitchen table doing his Sudoku puzzles which he always called his “crosswords.” Marvin had a sweet tooth but tried to hide it from Alma so he would hide his snacks all over the house, trucks, and sheds so she wouldn’t find them. He also always had a pet calf, generally a speckled or pure white one. Every year there was one calf that was just a bit more special than the others in which Marvin would name.
When Marvin was younger, him and Gordie would go for drives around the country to check out the cattle and crops. Sometimes they would even take Gordie’s eldest son Darcy with them and sit him in the middle. They also loved drinking beer together, no matter what time of day it was.
As much as Marvin loved to drive, sometimes he wasn’t that great at it. Specifically when his daughters were young and he missed the driveway so he just drove through the field to the house instead. That wouldn’t be so memorable had it not been one of those years that it didn’t snow, making sure that the tracks could be seen all year round. He also refused to drive by a black cat. If he saw a black cat on the road in front of him, he would turn around and go the long way just to ensure that he didn’t cross its path. He always said that if a black cat crosses in front of him, one of his cows would die or something else would go wrong.
For a man who seemed quiet, Marvin sure knew how to talk. It was always a joke amongst his daughters that he was on a “goodbye tour.” They would go somewhere as a family and the girls and Alma would be ready to go and waiting in the car or at the front door but Marvin would just keep chatting away. Even in the milking barn, Marvin would get chatting with whoever stopped by and forget about the cow he was milking. It was his nephew Darcy who had to sneak in between Marvin and the cow to remove the milking machine as the cow had usually been done milking for a while. Marvin always had something to say, normally though it was about farming or his grandchildren. It was those two topics that made his face light up.
When it came to the farm, nobody knew the farm like Marvin and he was happy to teach anybody who cared to listen. As Marvin always said “I know my cows” and that he certainly did as he could tell you anything you needed to know. He also knew his equipment and was always putzing around in the skidsteer making sure there weren’t ruts or things out of place. Anytime he was in his equipment, he had a big smile on his face. Him and Tyler would spend hours riding in the combine or tractor together as Marvin taught his grandson what to look for and how to set the equipment.
Marvin and Jessica had a bond like no other from the moment “Jessie” was born. He passed on a lot of things to his granddaughter such as the love of chatting. The two of them could talk for hours about anything. Marvin and Jessica would sit at the kitchen table all day together and then in the evening they would pull out the crib board and play a few rounds, but they always had to play until Marvin won a game.
Marvin lived for his family. He always talked about how family meant everything and he made sure that those he loved were taken care of. He was a kind man with a huge heart and everything he did, he did for his family. Marvin was also strong, not just physically like a farmer is, but mentally and emotionally. To his family, he was the caretaker. He could solve all problems and repair the most broken of relationships. With all of that though, he had a great sense of humour. He loved to laugh, and made sure his family was always smiling. With everyone of his grandchildren, he had a tradition of phoning them at Christmas time pretending to be Santa. It was little gestures like that, that made him the incredible man he was. When it came to Marvin, it was all about memories and making sure that every second counted.
Before his last breath, Marvin found comfort in the Lord and strongly believed that God would take care of him. He wasn’t scared as he knew that he was ready to take God’s hand and be home by the weekend. Marvin refused to stop fighting until he felt that all his loved ones had given him their blessing for him to move on. As he told Tyler and Jessica in his last hours, “If you cry, you cry together.”
Serenity Funeral Service, Leduc Ph: 780.980.3688