Marvin (Marv) Allan Black, 71, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. He was born on Dec. 3, 1941, in Sterling, Ill., where he grew up and graduated from Sterling Township High School in 1960. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1964 and a master's degree from Western Michigan University in 1966.
A consummate entrepreneur, his work experience began as a young boy, selling Dilly Bars and delivering newspapers from the back of his bicycle. Before returning to his business roots, he worked as a sheriff's deputy, assistant fire chief, emergency medical technician, community college instructor, county commissioner, cattle farmer and education director for the Kalamazoo Nature Center. His work in the seed industry started with him working as a salesman. By the end of his career, he had advanced to the position of director of marketing for Syngenta Seeds, a multinational corporation.
Most recently, he was the founding president of Distinction Marketing, a consulting company.
Marvin (Marv) Allan Black
His retirement was anything but idle. As snowbirds, Marv and his wife, Peggy, divided their time between Eden Prairie, Minn., and Cape Coral. He was passionate about spending winters in his beloved Florida. In addition to his consulting work, he also took up new hobbies that included woodworking and serving on the board of his condo association in Florida. He also continued to pursue his lifelong passions of learning, reading, photography, boating, birding, and conserving nature.
Mr. Black was a force of generosity, thoughtfulness, zest, sincerity, wisdom, and creativity unparalleled in the lives of those who were lucky enough to have known him. A dedicated husband, dad and grandpa, he could be frequently found traveling the highways between Minnesota and Michigan to visit both his children and grandchildren, often with a trunkful of power tools and pirate hats, and always with a plan for memorable adventures.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Janet; his parents, Marvin and Norvetta (Merlak) Black; and two infant sons.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Peggy; daughter, Marti (Black) Steiner, her husband Bret and their children Noah, Adam, Jacob Allan and Samantha; daughter, Keri (Black) Leonard, her husband Rodd and their children Hunter, Carson, and Davis; son, Ryan Black and his wife Krista; daughter, Sarah Black and her husband Nick Petersen; brother, Richard Black; and 5 step-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Kalamazoo Nature Center, the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society or the American Heart Association.
A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m., Feb. 9, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (Snyder Room), 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN 55318.
Condolences may be left at www.fortmyersmemorial.com.