Marlin's early years were spent on a farm north of St. Francis. When he was old enough to attend school, several men helped Ernest move the house and garage to town so that Marlin could easily obtain his education. Marlin was always a tag-a-long behind his dad, often being called "Lil' Ernie." They did a lot of custom work for area farmers and usually found a special job for "Lil' Ernie" like pulling the clutch on the thresher.
Marlin lost his dad in an auto accident when he was 16. As Marlin grew up his parents rented their basement to couples (some with families) and the upstairs bedrooms to farm girls during the week while they attended school. Thus making several treasured friendships that he carried throughout his life.
Marlin spent his school years in the St. Francis school, graduating in 1960. After graduation, he worked for awhile until he enlisted in the Army on Oct. 25, 1961. He began his basic training in Fort Carson, Colo., before being deployed to Korea for one year and 15 days. When Marlin returned to the states, he was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. When his tour of duty was completed on Oct. 23, 1964, he returned back home. Marlin was awarded the Expert Rifle and the Good Conduct medals.
Marlin worked as a police officer in Goodland and transferred to Great Bend. He was a member of the Kansas Peace Officers Association. After a few years of trying different kinds of work, his heart led him back to the family farm in 1974.
Marlin was a wheat farmer and decided to become an auctioneer, graduating from Missouri Auction School at Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 12, 1980. He attended additional schooling, graduating from the Certified Auctioneers Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., on April 3, 1982. He became a certified industrial machinery appraiser on Dec. 21, 1987, in Nashville, Tenn. Marlin was a member of the National Auctioneers Association and the Kansas Auctioneers Association.
He joined the St. Thomas Lodge 306 in Colby in 1990, then joined the Scottish Rite at Salina, the Kansas York Rite and also the ISIS Shriners becoming a member of the 100 Million Dollar Club and became a Lifetime Camelherder. Marlin was a member of the Cheyenne County Shrine, Colby Shrine, Scott County Shrine, Nomads, a life member of the Hillbillys, Provost Guard Unit, Gridiron Club and started the Silent Auction for the Kansas Shrine Bowl and ran it every year.
Marlin was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Ward where he spent many enjoyable hours and proudly helped with Santa Claus every year except one since 1976. He belonged to the St. Francis Country Club (where he learned to play golf), was a member of the Eagles, elks, the Moose, the Kansas Good Sam Recreational Vehicle Club, the Good Samlanders at Goodland and was a life member of the American Legion.
Marlin was preceded in death by his dad, Ernest; brothers-in-law, Dale Ruppert and Homer Ruppert; and sister-in-law, Donna Trosper.
Marlin was married to Mary (Ruppert) Trosper on April 26, 1992, thus inheriting a large extended family.
He is survived by his mother, Martha Gilbraith; wife, Mary; step-sons, Greg (Heidi) and Benny (Mary Ann) and step-daughter, Sharla. Marlin's pride and joy were his grandkids, Britta, Kaden, Shelby, Haley, Amber, Zach, and Hunter and great-grandson, Chase; step-brothers-in-law and step-sisters-in-law are Donna Ruppert, John and Lola Ruppert, Naomi Ruppert, Helen and Ferris Magee, Robert and Jean Ruppert, Ann Rowley, Geneva Fuller and Dan, Fred and Nellie Jean Trosper, Mildred Farr, Robert Menges, Donna Wier, Wren and Lou Trosper, Ardis Lorimer, Joyce and Ray Boyer, Dixie and Leonard Swanson and a large number of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
Marlin really enjoyed life. He never met a stranger, if he did it was only for a matter of minutes and then he knew about most of their lives. He donated a lot of time to the organizations he belonged to and several more including the American Red Cross. He was a disaster relief member and worked Hurricane Andrew in Florida, the Los Angeles earthquake and Santa Barbara floods and 9-11 at the Pentagon. He also worked several disasters within the state of Kansas and was a regular blood donor.
Marlin loved working auctions and helped with many but really enjoyed helping nephew and niece, Andy and Peggy Ruppert, and teasing everyone who came along. He enjoyed farming and his "Big, Mean, Green, John Deeres." Marlin played games with "his" grandkids and enjoyed teaching them how to dance to Bill Bass, how to cheat at cards and how to speak a little German, including some of the "wrong words."
Funeral services were Thursday, Dec. 4, at the United Methodist Church in St. Francis with Pastor Zimbelman officiating.
Honorary pallbearers were John Schroeder, Leon Schroeder, Calvin Zimbelman, Maynord Bane, Jack Ekland, Deroy Holzwarth, Harvey Neitzel, Rich Weigand, Jim Carpenter and all the Masons and Shriners.
Casket bearers were Carl Williams, Harvey Larm, Eldon Zimbelman, Jack Davis, Jay Zimbelman, Roger Jensen, Gale Walz and Robert Schroeder.
Interment was in the St. Francis Cemetery. Masonic and military graveside services were provided.
Arrangements were by Knodel Funeral Home of St. Francis.