Sunday, December 7, 2014

I Remember My Uncle Marv

This "Vignette" was first posted on Facebook on March 12, 20123


    It has been a decade already! Wow. On March 16, 2002, my Uncle Marv died in Bismarck, ND. I want to remember him this month.
     I think we were lucky to have great uncles  - all of them. And Uncle Marv was certainly that, and then some. He always seemed happy and upbeat - was friendly as all get out - and was a lot of fun to be around.
     I am posting his WWII portrait because that is an image that especially stands out for me. Grandma Haubrich had this photo on her wall in her upstairs apartment living room at 4711 20th Avenue, Kenosha, and so Marv was always there watching us. I will forever have that 5th Army badge etched in my memory.
     Finding out more about his military service is one of the many projects on my research list. All I know is that he served for five years in the army, spent time in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He attained the rank of sergeant, and I notice a couple of battle stars on one of the ribbons on his chest. I am pretty sure this photo was taken in Rome. One of the last books that Grandpa Dolan read was volume II of the "Liberation Trilogy" which covers the Italy campaign (called "The Day of Battle" by Rick Atkinson.) I am re-reading it and it has piqued my interest to learn more about what outfit Uncle Marv served in and where he specifically was. I am hoping that Aunt Evelyn and cousin Karen might be able and willing to help me sometime with my "nosiness."
     Marv was born in 1913, the third of five children - two girls on either side. I can only imagine what that was like! I can say, however, that one of the impressions Uncle Marv made on me was the way he treated his sisters. He loved them dearly and was really proud of them.
     I don't have any personal recollections of this, but Uncle Marv was an accomplished musician - which was not uncommon in the Haubrich family. I know he played the string bass in dance bands in the Kenosha area (like father, like son. Pa Haubrich played that too.) His obituary said he also played the violin. What I remember most clearly is that he was a drug store manager, both in Kenosha and in California when they moved there in the early 1960's. One little memory I have is when I was confirmed, he sent me a shiny black, flip-top desk radio and pen holder, as a gift. I remember the day it arrived in the mail! I took that with me when I went away to school and had it for many years. Funny the things you remember!
     There are many memories and many more things that I could tell you about my uncle - and I really don't know that much! I only knew him a little while (relatively speaking). It is too bad in a way that over the years distance always kept us from getting to know one another better. However, if the short phone conversations and all the visits back "home" are any indication, I think I would have enjoyed spending more time with him. I wish all of you could have spent some time with him too, listening to his stories, enjoying his laughter, and receiving some of the attention he always seemed willing to give.
     In his last years especially, Uncle Marv, was very active in his church, New Song Community Church, where son-in-law Larry is pastor. He did a lot of studying and writing and sent me two three-ring binders of devotional thoughts, Bible teachings, and little gems that he found and enjoyed. I regret not taking the time to talk to him more about these things ... but alas!
     Finally, speaking of regrets. I did not get to the funeral in March of 2002. I was on my way - traveling up I-29 in South Dakota. I stopped for a Martin Luther College recruitment visit at Great Plains Lutheran High School in Watertown, and was headed to Bismarck from there. I got sicker than a dog with the flu and spent a day and overnight in a motel room and then limped back home. I still feel bad about that.
     But ... I look forward to seeing my Uncle Marv in heaven. No doubt when I get there, he'll see me and in typical Marvin Haubrich fashion, his hand will fly up in the air in greeting. and he will make a beeline over to welcome me and make sure I'm feel at home!

  • Amy Dolan First of all, Uncle Marv was kind of dreamy in his WWII picture. I do remember him a little bit. I remember him being a very jovial old man, though I never really had any conversations with him... you know how I was around men. Thanks for sharing this, Dad. It's cool.
  • John-Carol Dolan Sorry, everyone, about the typos. It's late. I will correct for posterity's sake.
  • Mary Beth Williams Thanks for sharing.I remember the sandals with socks.

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