Earl Franklin Marlman, age 95 years, of Spring Hill, Florida and Metropolis, Illinois, passed away on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Baptist Health Paducah, Paducah, Kentucky.
Earl was born on December 23, 1922, at home on the Marlman farm in the Boaz community in Massac County, IL. His parents were Oscar Louis and Nora (Schmidt) Marlman, both of whom preceded him in death.
On August 20, 1950, Earl was married to Ina Lois (Bohannon) Fitzpatrick in Rolla, MO, at the home of Ina’s sister, Nan. He and Ina had been married almost 40 years when Ina passed away April 2, 1990.
Earl later was married to Lois Mae (Shaw) Trovillion on April 18, 1993, at the First United Methodist Church in Metropolis, IL.
Earl leaves surviving his wife, Lois; his sister, Esther Stewart of Chrisman, IL; step-daughters whom he called “his girls”, Pamela (Art) Gloster of Viera, FL; and Starr Wheelis of West Monroe, LA; step-sons, Kevin (Deborah) Trovillion, of Clarksville, TN and Kent (Ann) Trovillion of Hendersonville, TN; four step-granddaughters, Kelley Jo Brewster of Avon, CT, Toni Bradberry of West Monroe, LA; Dawn (Andy) Miller of West Monroe, LA, and Kayla Dawn Trovillion of Hendersonville, TN; two step-grandsons, Monty (Kathy) Korte of Zionsville, IN and Justin (Kala) Walker of Hopkinsville, KY; sister-in-law, Joyce (Ron) Taylor of Vienna, IL; fourteen step-great grandchildren, Emma, Tess and Jack Korte of Zionsville, IN, Pacey and Skylar Bradberry and Jarrett Lowe, Samuel,Nathanael, Lillian Grace, and Jacob Miller of West Monroe, LA, Austin, Lucas and Zachary Peters of Lowell, IN, Ella Victoria Brewster of Avon, CT; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.
In addition to his parents, Earl was preceded in death by Starr’s husband, Gale Wheelis; brothers-in-law, Virgil Stewart, Dorsey, Haines, and Wallace Bohannon; sisters-in-law, Nan Suarez, Mildred Evans, and Betty Morgan.
Earl attended elementary school in the Boaz community and attended Karnak High School for three years. He then moved to Jacksonville, IL, and lived with his Aunt Hannah and Uncle Joe Darush and graduated from Jacksonville High School. He then attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, until he was called to duty in the military.
Earl served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the field artillery unit in the Aleutian Islands and as Chief Clerk of the Communications Department at Fort Sill, OK. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of Staff Sergeant.
After his discharge from the military service, Earl finished his college education at the University of Illinois and graduated in 1948 was a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management.
Earl then returned to Massac County where he and his uncle, Henry Schmidt, started the Mermet Grain Company at Mermet, IL in 1948. Earl continued as owner and operator of Mermet Grain Company for 54 years until his retirement on August 9, 2002. While in this business of buying and selling grain and selling feed, seed, fertilizer and chemicals, he witnessed many changes in the farming and grain producing industry as well as the elevator business—going from the days of no office phone to the technological advances in today’s time. He will be remembered for his cluttered desk in the grainery office that was a conversation topic with his customers; however, nothing was ever lost. He could tell you exactly where something was.
Earl also raised cattle and produced grain crops on his family farm.
After retirement from Mermet Grain Company, he and Lois enjoyed some traveling and spending time in their Metropolis home as well as at their home in Spring Hill, FL.
Earl was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Metropolis and an associate member of the First United Methodist Church in Spring Hill. He was always willing to do what was asked of him to help with the churches. At the Metropolis church, he was a member and former president of Methodist Men, served as head usher, initiated the valet parking program for handicapped church attendees, served on almost every committee within the church and was past chairman of the Church Administrative Board, Finance Committee, Council on Ministries, Pastor-Parrish Committee, Annual Conference delegate, and a member of the Volunteer/Fidelis Sunday school class. At the Spring Hill church, he served as usher, was a member of the Methodist Men, Christianity Today Sunday school class, and the Encouragers bible study group. His churches were a main part of his life. He was very faithful in his service for the Lord and put first things first by reading his Bible and having his devotional time each morning the very first thing after getting up and before starting the day’s activities. He was also a member of the Timber Pines Military Veterans Club in Spring Hill, FL.
At the time of his passing, Earl was a member of the board of directors for the City National Bank of Metropolis, a position he had since the early 1980’s and the board chairman of Waterway Ag, Inc. of Metropolis. He, along with three other businessmen were instrumental in starting Waterway Ag, Inc.
During his lifetime, Earl was actively involved within his community. He was a member of the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce and had served as board member. He had been a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Committee and was a past director of the Ad-Hoc Committee. He belonged to the Massac County Extension Service and was a past member of its Ad-Hoc Committee and the 4-H Committee. He received an honorary award from the 4-H for his service to the organization.
Earl was always interested in young men and women furthering their education and served on the Shawnee College and Joppa High School Advisory Committee on Vocational Training. He also had been a board member of the Shawnee College Foundation.
While in business, Earl was a member of the Feed and Grain Association of Illinois. He was a past director of this group and served on its membership and convention committees.
Earl had been a member of the board of directors for the First State Bank of Grand Chain, IL, for many years; and was President of the Board from 1993 until 2008. He also was on the board of directors for Southern Illinois Steel Company in Paducah, KY, until the sale of the business.
Earl was a member of Belknap Masonic Lodge #1422 which later was joined with the Vienna Masonic Lodge #150. He received his 50-year pin from the Belknap Lodge in 1994.
Those who knew Earl Marlman will remember him as a friendly, kind, outgoing person who was always willing to be of help to someone in need. It was not easy for him to say “No” to anyone; and he always wanted to keep his word if he made a commitment. He was willing to do his part and to help when asked. He often helped someone without anyone else knowing about it. He will surely be missed.
Visitation will be held Friday, August 31, 2018 from 5 to 8pm at the Aikins-Farmer-Loftus-McManus Funeral Home in Metropolis, IL. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 1, 2018 at 1 pm at the First United Methodist Church with Revs. Shalom Renner and Jon Cockrel officiating. Burial will follow in the Metropolis Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church Metropolis, IL, First United Methodist Church Spring Hill, FL, American Cancer Society, Shawnee College Foundation c/o Earl Marlman Scholarship Fund or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Pallbearers: Lyndell Ramsey, Benny Schmidt, Casey Douglas, Randy Wilke, Billy Wilke, David Wilke
Honorary Pallbearers: Tom Pullen, Tom Mittendorf, Jim Walter, Rick Kotter, Steve Vogt, Rodger Harrison, Richard Krueger, Bruce Eckenberg, W.E. “Pete” Wachter, Charles Douglas