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Marvin Pierce Schelhouse-84
Our loving father, Marvin P. Schelhouse sadly passed away on Thursday, September 8, 2022, at the Delaware Veteran's Home in Milford. He was born in Milford, Delaware
to the late Charles V. Schelhouse & Virginia Hobbs Otwell, stepfather, James Otwell and
guardians, Horace & Bessie Lindale.
Marvin was a loving & devoted husband, father, grandfather & great-grandfather, who also gave over 50 years of loyal service to his country, state, St. John's Catholic Church, and his hometown community. He enjoyed spending time with family, relatives and friends. He cherished going to Rehoboth with his loving wife, sitting on the boardwalk as well as watching Milford High football games with Rita on the Milford Buccaneer pirate ship. In his last few years, he enjoyed going to Chick-fil-a and being pampered by the staff.
After graduating from Milford High School in 1955, he followed his dream since he was 4 years old of becoming a Marine. He joined the Marine Corps in 1956. While stationed in Philadelphia, PA, he met the love of his life, Rita Ludwick of Perryopolis, PA. After they married on February 11, 1961, they started a family and were stationed in New Jersey, Virginia, & finally settled in Milford, DE, after retiring from the Marine Corps in 1976.
While serving his country in the United States Marine Corps, he had a variety of assignments in the Infantry such as, Training/Instruction components, Recruiting, Reserve Forces, Staff assignments from Company, Battalion, and Division Level to the Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington. He landed in Lebanon in 1958, with a Marine Infantry Battalion to defend the Sovereignty of that country from threatened invasion of Syria. Before the Vietnam War, he was trained in counter/insurgency operations and guerrilla warfare in the U.S., the jungles of Panama, & the Far East. Half of his military career was served during one of the most turbulent times in the history of our country, The Vietnam War (1965-1975). He was involved in many phases of the Vietnam War, preparing Marines for combat, assigned Marines to duty in Vietnam, casualty notification officer making visits to notify next of kin of loved ones killed in action. He was in the Infantry Battalion that was in combat against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army performing duties as Gunnery Sgt., First Sgt., Adjutant, and Admin Chief, and was decorated for his service in the Vietnam War. He was also honored to have been entrusted with the colors of his unit, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines to return these colors from Vietnam to Camp Pendleton, CA. in late 1970. In all of those years, those colors have never been tarnished and were served by some of the finest young men this country has ever known. His last tour in the Marines was at Headquarters, Marine Corps from 1971-1976. He was assigned there due to his outstanding record/performance, & professionalism as a Marine. While there, he was assigned 10,000 Marines to administer the assignment, career development, classification & training, & was the Administrative Chief for Marine Corps education & training branch. He was recognized in a formal letter of appreciation from Headquarters Marine Corps for his exceptional conscientious performance of duty and professionalism in carrying out his duties as a member of the Marine Contingent in the Presidential Inauguration ceremonies of President Richard M. Nixon. His last year and a half in the Corps, he was the Administrative Chief for Marine Corps Education and Training Branch. Marvin also shared his birthday with the USMC and his lovely daughter, Debbie, on November 10th.
After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1976, he moved with his family to Milford, and began working for the State of Delaware, Dept. of Labor for over 20 years. He was in charge of various service programs such as, C.E.T.A., the Veterans Employment & Training program, & the Disabled Veterans program. He also directed Job Corps, which was a residential & vocational training program for youth, ages 16-21, who were economically disadvantaged. Marvin received a Delaware Senate and house Tribute for his service with the Dept. of Labor.
Marvin was very active in the Milford School District serving on the Board of Education for over 30 years. While being a member of the Board, he served as President multiple times. While Board President, he was involved in the placing of a state of Delaware marker located at the Milford Middle School to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the integration of the Milford High School at that site in 1954. This was necessary to help heal wounds from a time when the town was turned upside down, and the entire School Board resigned. He witnessed this firsthand as a senior in Milford High School. Marvin received awards while serving on the School Board such as the Jefferson Award for Community Service & a Tribute from the Delaware House and Senate for outstanding service to public education. One of the creations that Marvin poured his heart and soul into was the conversion of an old wooden boat into an 18th century Buccaneer pirate ship to heighten spirit within Milford schools both academically and athletically. During every home High School football game, he fired the cannon when the team scored a touchdown.
He served and was President of the Milford Historical Society for many years, in the restoration of the Parson Thorne Mansion. He was the Milford Museum commissioner in charge of many exhibits, such as The Vietnam War, The Battle of Iwo Jima, and The Civil War.
For over 50 years, Marvin studied and had a profound interest in the life and military career of General Alfred T.A. Torbert of the U.S. Army, one of Delaware's most notable sons. Marvin edited the only book written about General Torbert titled, "A.T.A. Torbert, Southern Gentleman in Union Blue" by Nancy Slade. Marvin was one of the persons the book was dedicated to. Marvin founded and was the first Commander of the General Torbert Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. In this capacity, he took the leadership role to restore the Milford Union Cemetery where 12 Civil War soldiers and one from the Spanish American War is buried. In 1969, Marvin was the only person to attempt to save General Torbert's house in Milford from destruction. This was an endeavor that was unsuccessful. Marvin worked to save and preserve other Milford historical properties. In honor of General Torbert and his service to our country, Marvin successfully spearheaded the effort to have a statue of General A.T.A. Torbert erected on the grounds of the Milford Museum.
Marvin served on the Civil War Society that established the Delaware Memorial/Monument at Gettysburg National Military Park to commemorate the service of those Delawareans that fought at the battle of Gettysburg. Marvin received a Tribute from the Delaware House of Representatives for his work and his accomplishment 137 years after the battle.
Marvin was an honorable and distinguished icon of Milford who will truly be missed by all.
In addition to his parents and guardians, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Rita. He is survived by his loving children, son, Thomas Schelhouse of Lauderdale by the Sea, Fla, daughter, Deborah Annand, son-in-law, Christopher, Milford, DE, daughter, Jennifer Mills, son-in-law Jamie, Milford, DE, 4 grandchildren, granddaughter, Lauren Schelhouse of Coral Springs, Fla., grandson, Jonathan Annand, wife Jane of Easton, MD, granddaughter, Jessica Comstock, husband, Kyle of Milford, DE, granddaughter, Emilee Mills of Milford, DE. 3 great grandchildren, Cameron & Jaxon Lastella of Florida and Shiloh Annand of Easton, MD. A sister, Janet Wells, brother-in-law William of Harrington, DE and many nieces and nephews, and a host of friends and admirers.
Visitation will be Friday, September 16th at St. John's Parish Hall, 506 Seabury Ave., Milford, DE from 2- 4 p.m. and 6 - 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Brigg's Stadium, Milford, DE, Saturday, September 17th @ 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to be made to the Milford School District, 906 Lakeview Ave. Milford, DE 19963, for maintenance of Brigg's Stadium and continued restoration of the Buccaneer Pirate Ship. And/or to the Milford Museum for upcoming projects. Arr. by Lofland Funeral Home, Milford. Letters of condolence may be shared with the family at www.loflandandmcknatt.com.