Services for Marvin Sorgaard

Marvin Sorgaard, age 81, of Lengby, MN, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, July 4th, at his home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 10th, at Bethel Assembly Church in Fosston with Pastor Seth Johnson officiating. Interment will be in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery, Lengby. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service on Monday, July 9th and for one hour prior to the service on Tuesday. All visitation will be held at Bethel Assembly Church in Fosston. Arrangements are with the Carlin Funeral Home of Fosston and messages of condolence may be sent at


Marvin Wayne Sorgaard was born on May 17, 1937 in Fosston, Minnesota to parents Emil and Opal Handyside Sorgaard. He grew up south of Lengby in Island Lake Township and attended the Antel country school. He then went to work building and working on grain elevators in the area.


Marvin was married to Eunice Preisler on February 12, 1960 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bejou. After their marriage, the lived and began their family on a farm six miles east of Bejou. To this union, three children were born, Sherrie, Robin and Teresa. The family’s young wife and mother passed away on April 23, 1970.


Marvin met Judy Wibbels of Bejou, who was widowed as well at the time. After a short courtship, they were married and joined their families together on June 6, 1971 at the Assembly of God Church in Mahnomen. To this marriage, Judy’s four children, Vaughn, Renee, Vernette, and Joni were added to the family. Then, in 1972, a daughter, Stacey, was born.


Marvin continued to farm small grains and livestock and raise his family on the farm. In 1977, he sold the cows but continued on with the field work. In 1986, he retired, and moved to Lengby with Judy and only remaining child at home, Stacey. Marvin tinkered and could fix anything. He was known as a “jack of all trades” and enjoyed doing small repairs for people in the area. He spent many years on the Lengby City Council and was an integral part of Lengby’s care and upkeep.  Even Santa called on Marvin for assistance with the town’s Christmas party.


Yearly family RV trips were important to Marvin. The family had the opportunity to travel around the country in a small pick-up camper at first and kept increasing in size as the years went on. In later years, when the kids were gone, the RV ended up being quite large. There are lots of wonderful memories and many stories of those early family camping trips. He and Judy still would go Arizona each winter and continued for many years. In fact, even after Judy had a devastating stroke in 1995, this didn’t stop them and they still continued to travel. Marvin was her dedicated caregiver and companion until she passed away on October 21, 2011.


Marvin had a unique personality. His frugality and theory of money was well-known to his family and others. One example, being his strategy to save gas by throwing the transmission into neutral at any high speed usually at the top of a hill and coasting for as far as possible, sometimes in heavy traffic while slowly coasting up to the stoplight, with happy drivers behind him. The priority here is saving gas. One statement Marvin often made when he was getting passenger complaints about his lack of focus on the road ahead of him and drifting over the center line was, “Well, I pay taxes on this side of the road too!” 


Throughout his life, Marvin enjoyed hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, waterskiing, golfing, and especially loved his fishing. His fish house was often the first out on the lake, even dangerously so. He loved a challenge. On outdoor adventures, Marvin would sometimes encounter wounded or abandoned wild animals and bring them home to surprise his young girls. They grew up with many unusual “pets”, like baby deer, wild bunnies he’d chase down and catch from the field he was plowing, pet squirrels he named “Chip and Dip”, raccoons he’d tame, put on leashes and named “Charlie and Fred". He loved showing off his latest critter at family reunions and graduation parties. He was a master at training his dogs fun tricks, and if he didn’t have a wild animal to parade, our dogs Nikki or Lucy were sure to put on a great show! Marvin seemed to find a way to be the life of the party but in a way that was magnetic and interesting. He lived to get a rise out of people. He had a cannon to scare blackbirds from sunflower fields, that he loved to set off unknowingly for the reunion guests at his house. That went on for a few years until Judy must have put an end to the kid-at-heart’s antics!  He loved to visit with people, was truly a social butterfly, and he would often spend Sunday afternoons with family, enjoyed staying for supper, and dearly loved all of his children and grandchildren.


Marvin was also a bit of a paradox, for just as he could be extremely frugal, he could be just as incredibly generous. His faith and love for Christ was demonstrated through a life of service and generosity towards others in need. Often, he would do without, so others could have. He lived out “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. He didn’t hold onto money for his self gain…he was frugal so he’d have plenty to give to a true need. He was a tenderhearted loving man and wonderful father. He will be dearly missed but he left a lifetime of many great memories and stories.


Survivors include his eight children, Sherrie (Jeff) Witherbee of Lengby, Robin (Lyndon) Bendickson of Mahnomen, Teresa Kulzer of South Haven, MN, Stacey (Wayne) Savig of Fosston, Vaughn (Marion) Wibbels of Bejou, Renee Johnson of Rosamond, CA, Vernette Johnson of Coon Rapids, MN, and Joni Marschel of Annandale, MN; 21 grandchildren; 42 great grandchildren; 5 great great grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.


He was preceded in death by his wives, Eunice and Judy; his parents; brother, Calvin; sons-in-law, Danny Marschel and Steve Kulzer; and granddaughter, Taylor Rabideau.



Richards Publishing

P.O. Box 159
239 2nd Ave
Gonvick, MN 56644
Telephone: (218) 487-5225

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