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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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January 25, 2022

12/3/2021 5:23:00 AM
Marvin John Spafford

Marvin John Spafford, age 92, passed away peacefully on Nov. 29, 2021. He was born June 25, 1929, in Waukesha, to Joseph and Ella Spafford.

In 1932, at the age of 3, Marvin moved with his family to Starks, 8 miles east of Rhinelander. His father secured farmland and started a potato farm. Marvin graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1947. He served in the Army, stationed in Germany for two years (1953-55). Upon returning to civilian life, Marvin and his younger brother, David, took over their father's farm, Spafford Farms, Inc. They would successfully grow the farm to over 1,000 acres before selling it in 1992 and retiring. In 1960, Marvin married Connie Croker from Eagle River. Connie worked by Marvin's side on the farm, and they raised four children together. Upon retiring, Marvin and Connie moved to Deerfield near Madison. They moved back to the Northwoods in 1999, next to Connie's family homestead, in Eagle River. Marvin, at age 70, designed and built the house they would live in for the next 20 years. For the past two years Marvin resided at Country Terrace in Tomahawk, near his daughter Nikki. He (and his family) appreciated the great care provided by the Country Terrace staff.

Marvin was also a proud member of the Shriners for the past 40 years. In retirement, Marvin obtained his real estate license and worked for a home builder near Madison. After moving back up north he worked with his son, Matt, as a freight broker. He enjoyed having a garden (and seldom planted potatoes in it). He also could be found in his garage doing woodworking projects. He loved spending time with family and his five grandchildren. His family will always remember him as a kind, even-tempered soul who possessed a quiet strength, uncanny eye for detail; and most importantly lived his life with love and honor.

He is survived by his sons Jason Spafford (Cynthia Berger) of Minneapolis, Matt Spafford (Valerie Moll) of West Bend, and Justin Spafford of Eagle River and daughter Nicolle Spafford (Andy Shaney) of Tomahawk; grandchildren: Brianna Spafford Fuentes (Fernando) of West Bend, Lydia Shaney of Tomahawk and Lila, Hoyt, and Iris Spafford of Minneapolis. He is also survived by his older sister, Juanita Kichefski of Rhinelander, sister-in-law Judy (Mick) Phillips of Eagle River, brothers-in-law Robert Croker, Jr. (Karen) of Eagle River, Jim McGinn of Madison, sisters-in-law Anita Lansing (John) of Madison, Nancy Courtney (Bill) of Greenville and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Connie, his wife of 59 years; his brother David Spafford, brother-in-law Don Kichefski, sister-in-law Candace Croker McGinn and niece Sandy Steiner.

A visitation for Marvin will be held on Friday, Dec/ 10, 2021, from 10 to 11 a.m. with a memorial services following at 11 a.m. all at the Carlson Funeral Home in Rhinelander. You may leave your private condolences for the Spafford family at In lieu of flowers please consider donating in Marvin's name to the Shriners Children's Hospital. Please send any donations directly to Marvin's family so that they may acknowledge your gift.

The Carlson Funeral Home (715.369.1414) is serving the Spafford Family.

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