S: Marvel's Memories
FC: 80 and Marvelous! Celebrating 80 years of Marvel
2: Nome Friends
3: Marvey and Connie
8: Dear Marvel, When we met who would have thought we would be together all these years. We have had our ups and downs and weathered many storms and through it all we stuck it out together. " I like you a lot" has tremendous meaning to both of us. I put those words on your birthday card when we first met and they still hold so much meaning today. I think that is possibly, the most important part of our relationship. As much as I love you, I still like you a lot. I love how thoughtful you are to everyone and how you always have love to share with the children and me. I couldn't ask for a better friend to go through life with. I love you!- Dennis ( aka Percival P Archibald)
14: My Marvelous Mom Words seem insignificant - how can they capture the depth of what you mean to me - the influence you have had on is indelible. The bright steady love you have always showered on me, the gifts of humor, faith, optimism, and reading you shared, your moral compass, your sense of wonder and delight for your family and life in general- these have shaped who I have become. You are love, warmth, laughter, fun, strength, intelligence, and loyalty. You game me the quintessential childhood and for me my family has always been my rock. Your love and confidence inspired me to see myself as someone capable of achieving meaningful success. You taught me life doesn't have to be perfect to be fabulous. You inspired me as a mom- showing me what unconditional love is really about. Having you as my mom has enhanced my joys and made the sorrows bearable, you have been an anchor in this tumultuous sea of life. You will always "home"- I love you. Your loving daughter, Vicki
16: What a unique life we shared in Alaska. Your home felt like my home. You were an integral part of my beautiful childhood in Alaska, as our lives intertwined on a day to day basis. Camping, fishing, the aurora lights, sledding, St. Raphael's, swimming in water with ice floes, the Midnight Sun, somehow it feels like these things belong to us. These memories, like Alaska, are in our bones, and we carry them with us wherever we go. Not only are you dear to me, you have been a great example on how to carry oneself through dark times and emerge in the sunlight laughing. Love You Dearly, Heather
17: You are one of the few people who really got our dad. You loved him worts and all and never turned your back on him. If he were here he would say thank you for loving me like a son.
18: Grandma Marvel, You have brought us so many good memories throughout the years. The camping trips were always so much more fun with you there. You're the person that taught us how to fish! You made it so much fun, but the spot we picked in Yosemite barely had any fish in the water. But, of course, you still managed to show us a good time by having a positive attitude throughout the whole time and staying patient with us even when we were being brats haha You keep the party going with your fun and crazy personality. The party doesn't really start until you get there with a beer in one hand and smakin' people's butts with the other! We love you so much and we hope you have a MARVELous 80th birthday. Love, Amanda and Jacob
19: Grandma, I could not ask for a better woman to call my grandmother. I don't know if you realize how much you have taught me about what is important in life. The memories I have as a child in Alaska, growing up next door to you, our church, our neighborhood, our camping trips, and the holidays. When our family came together, it was in your home, and when times were turbulent you were always there to calm the storm. You are my Grandma, but you are so much more. I will always love you and never forget what you have given me. Happy 80th birthday from your grandson, Justin.
20: To my beautiful Grandma, Happy Birthday...eighty years young! I think you are such an amazing woman. You are strong, incredibly loving and so full of life...you can light up a whole room. Thank you for being you! Thank you for being such an important part of my life as well. I feel so lucky to have grown up next door to you with just a path in the snow between us. I truly cherish every memory I have with you; every thanksgiving, easter and christmas get together...the countless hours around the campfire...breakfast at your house after church...the quiet moments sitting next to you while you do your crossword puzzles and the craziness of crowding around your table playing games. From the beginning of my life through the birth of my child and the loss of my father, you and Grandpa have been there for me unconditionally, for the great times and the hard stuff and every moment in between. You hold a very special place in my heart, with you I feel at home. I love you beyond words. love always, Sarah
21: I love you grandma Marvel. I'll keep you in my prayers. Happy birthday, I really love you and I really want to come to your birthday because I like you so much. Hannah. | Grandma Marvel, I just wanted to wish you a Happy birthday! I know today is going to be very special for you with all your family and friends coming together to share the day with you. I really enjoy your sense of humor and have always had so much fun with you. I want you to know that I appreciate you. I love you and happy birthday. Chris.
22: Mom, there is no way to express how much I love you. You have always been there for me through thick and thin, so sorry about all the thin. You were the beacon shining bright when I was lost leading me back from whatever far shore I found myself on. You are the most awesome mom on the face of the earth. Some of my earliest memories are of base housing on Elmendorf AFB and you helping with my shirt which always seemed to be untucked or getting my skates off when I was too cold to undo the laces. Let's not mention the Cowboy boots, Cowboy hat and diaper outfit which was a little risque for 1950's Anchorage, Yeee Haaa. Whether we were in Alaska, Virginia, New York or California you knew how to make the most of any situation. I treasure the trip memories of you reading books to everyone as traveled the Southwest or through Canada. It has been a fantastic trip so far and I believe that there are many more adventures still to come. Happy Birthday to you and Many More!!
28: Well I am the middle child, however as usual I am last. Your party has been over for weeks. All the food has been consumed, all the part favors put away, the mess clean up and the trash taken out. I have read and reread every entry into your book. I am just now sitting down to write an entry myself, of course I have chosen a time, when I should be starting dinner. I have been known as the loudest and mouthiest kid in your glorious tribe, however the best way to shut me up is to show me a blank piece of paper and ask me to put my thoughts and feeling down. I have been humbled while reading all the entries into your book. I see folks writing the most amazing things and all of them are true. Why, is it so hard for me to write something down? It can’t be the spelling, as I now have a wonderful machine to do it for me. It can’t be a lack of stories, as there is a plethora of those. I have now come to believe that if is the simplest of things, I just do not know where to start. So, I will use the usual way to start. I was conceived late April, in 1957.. Just kidding (Maybe). I must at this point admit to having been in awe of you for all of my life. You have always been such a marvelous person (is that OK to say?). I have noticed, ever since I was able to notice these things, that you are a very magnetic personality, people generate towards you and circle you like planets to a sun. You, being quit humble and awkward about that, never seem to have noticed that aspect. That makes it even better. I hope that I have even a small portion of your best parts, your gregarious personality, your generosity, your forgiveness and your lioness like protection, of anyone who you think is being treated unfairly. You grew up at a time when heroes roamed the earth and of course most of them lived in Alaska. I am sure it will be hard for you to read this book and see how folks think of you as a hero. You always saw others as the amazing ones, Connie, Your Mom and Dad, your nieces and nephews, your kids. I just want you to know, that you too are a hero. At this point I must insert a few of your exploits, just a few my personal favorites. The “Auburn House” great water fight, where Chuck thought he could run and hide in the house, little did he know of your courage under fire and that the garden hose really could reach that deep into the house. Then there was the boy scouts, “great winter” camping trip, where you found out “the boys” were going to spend a week in the Sierras, the day before we left. You stayed up half the night knitting caps and getting our gear together, as we had not yet learned the motto “be prepared” and then had to drive us there the next day. Last but not least is the “Mr. Haggard” fight at Lathrop high school. The very dry math teacher who also taught photography, had decided that my photographs were to “artsy” and did not meet the criteria he wanted so he gave me a “D”. I sat there quietly for once, in the back of the room and watched you systematically and logically take the most feared algebra teacher known to man kind, to task for not being able to understand art, and how dare he not give it a “passing grade”, I of course got an “A” on the report card. I also want to give a nod, to the non family stuff, such as working on the pipeline, at city hall, and the west coast stock exchange. I know that mostly I play the clown, and horribly distort the smallest of your foibles for my “comedy act”, but really that is just me, being your number one fan. Right after Vicki, right after Jimmy, right after Matt, right after Maggie, right after Patty, who is amazing. Love Tim
29: Marvel’s Song Alaska where legends are home, Marvel was born in a town called Nome. Connie was her sister, Pops was her dad. She swears Lena was the best mom to be had. She didn’t grow up big, but she grew up strong. In case you haven’t guessed, this is her song. From Allakaket to Valdez, She swung that fly pole with ease. When she is on the river the Salmon swim with fear, Even the grizzlies leave when she is near. Bud in one hand cigarette in the other, I don’t care what you say, that’s my mother. Marvelous Marvel that’s for sure, heart of gold, totally pure. I can’t play and I can’t sing, I’m so damn cheep this is all I bring. I play out of tune and I sing out of key, This is my gift because it’s free. I’m one cheep bastard, that I know, I sing this song because I love you so. There’s been joy, there’s been sorrow, There’s been laughter, there’s been tears. After all it’s been eighty damn years. North to south, east to west. Coast to coast, Mom’s the best Bud in one hand cigarette in the other, I don’t care what you say, that’s my mother. Marvelous Marvel that’s for sure, heart of gold, totally pure.
30: Grandma, I am so lucky to have such a great lady in my life!! You are always so much fun. From beatcha buddy in the camper, to spoons on your dining room table you are always bright, fun light in my life. I will always cherish our trip to Valdez. I remember reading out loud from a McManus book and both of us laughing so hard we were crying. You caught so many Silvers I couldn’t clean them fast enough. It was amazing. I’ve never seen anyone catch so many fish in so short a time. It wasn’t even fair to the fish. You have always kept your home open and safe for when times are hard, and have always been there when I needed you. Love you lots Grandma.
31: I have so many great memories about grandma Marvel. I guess the ones that stick out the most are the camping trips her and grandpa used to take us on. We spent countless weekends up Chena River (as it was so close to their house). There were also the big camping trips out to McKinley Park. She was always the 1st person to wake up when we were camping. To this day the smell of fresh brewed coffee and cigarettes is nostalgic to me. I think grandma Marvel is the best fishing grandmother in the world. Picture some older lady in her hip waters out in the middle of the river fly fishing with all the men. The entire time she is smiling and catching more fish than most. CLASSIC!!! I love you grandma!!! -Love Jake"
32: I know I should have stopped and taken the time to write this letter several weeks ago. I had glanderous ideas about digging through my storage unit, finding every picture I had with you in it and creating the best scrap book page for your birthday. However, like many good intentions, mine was lost in the midst of a busy life, where careers take center stage, husbands (even good ones) are demanding, dogs need to be walked, groceries need to be bought AND cooked, and time is not your friend. I feel horrible of course, how could I have not made the time to do this special thing for this special woman on her 80th Birthday? I’ve been berating myself with my failure all week long as the deadline to the party draws near. But the truth is that I know you will forgive me – because you have always forgiven my every transgression. Not only have you never shamed me for my blatant faults, you have smiled at me out of the corner of your eye and laughed as if we were true co-conspirators. It didn’t take me long to realize just how forgiving of person you were...like all children of your progeny I too was born with a misbehaving bone. I was the granddaughter the talked all other granddaughters into jumping on your couches in the living room. But I knew, even then, that you would forgive me (right after you slapped my butt). I’ve often wondered where this endless well of forgiveness comes from. Does she just love us all that much that she just can’t stay mad, no matter how awful we really are? Are we so funny that you can’t help but laugh even when she is mad? Was she just born with more forgiveness than others? It occurred to me when I sat down to write this letter and I thought about all the things about you that I love so much I realized that maybe your endless ability to forgive stems from an understanding of your own humanity. It might not make for the best story or antidote to place in a scrapbook album, but if I’m really honest, my favorite things about you are your imperfections. You are real, and strong, and fallible. You’ve endured every pain imaginable life has to offer and you instead of being bitter and angry or pretending these things are not happening, you stand up and acknowledge that you may be down but you are not out. You openly accept your own faults – even better you do so with gusto! Some people might be disheartened to realize their grandma is not perfect. Not Me! I find strength and beauty in your imperfectness. Rather than setting up an unattainable standard for what it means to be a mother, a wife, a grandma your honesty about your limitations and mistakes have taught me how to honor my own. You taught me how to be woman, a real woman. A strong, independent, hard-working, loving, dynamic, woman. What better grandma could there be? For being 5’3” and 100 lbs soaking wet, you are the strongest person I know. When I picture the trajectory of your life I see David (you) up against Goliath (life). You strength lies not only in what you’ve endured but in how you’ve endured it. You taught me how to rely on faith, how to laugh through tears, how to hug tightly, and the courage to seek love. And you taught me all this not through lectures or words but by example.
33: I’m proud that you had the courage to leave a marriage that wasn’t working and the strength to strive for better love. And look at all the wonderful things that came of that choice? Grandpa Dennis, Grandma Arla, Uncle Dave & Paulette & their kids; Aunt Patty, Reid, and Max. I’m proud that my Grandma was so tough she could endure working on the Alaska pipeline – with all those men! I’m inspired by your work ethic. I’m in awe of your energy. Maybe it’s the Alaskan in you? Maybe there is something about those people (our people) who choose to deny the reality of the elements and instead fight for a life in an unlivable place? I’d like to think that I got my tenacity from you. I’ve been asked more times than I can count where I got my sass...and I tell everyone, “If you think I’ve got it you should meet my grandma. She will tell it like it is, but she will love you anyway.” I want to thank you for my family. I think I have the best family in the entire world; I love all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. They are all such amazing, intelligent, loving people. And it all started because of you. I want to thank you for ALL the mothering you’ve done for my immediate family over the years. You always took us in when times were hard. You always took my side when I was fighting with my dad, even when I was wrong. You have literally loved me through everything. You have been much much more than a grandma; you have been my mother – an amazing, loving, forgiving, hilarious, beautiful mother. Happy 80th Birthday – I love you. Madelyn
34: Mom, Happy birthday. So, 80 years later, who are you? You started out as a daughter and sister with loving parents who also happened to be your heroes. Your bigger than life personality and terrific sense of humor attracted many who became your life-long friends. You became a wife and thanks to great medication, are still one today. You eventually became a grandmother and a great grandmother, but when I think about who you are to me, you are a mom. You are my mom. Moms are caring, loving and dedicated. But you were all these and more. As a parent now myself, looking back on my life, I can see a love which was and is truly selfless. Only a mom who sincerely wants what is best for her children could have done what you did for me. You put self aside and made what must have been an incredibly difficult decision: leaving me in California where I was thriving in sports and school when you had to move to Alaska. Looking back now, I realize it would have been far easier and less painful to just take me with you. That's a mom and the type of parent I want to be. I can also see what type of mom you were and are by the people my brothers and sisters have become. It may be sad, but it's true: my favorite people are my family (maybe I need medication). Who are you mom? Look at my sisters and what amazing woman they are: loving, kind, wise and terrific moms in their own right. And my brothers, well, you have great daughters anyway (ha! ha!). But yes, my brothers too have become men I respect and still look up to even today. Happy birthday to my mom. Love Matthew Roderigues (ha! ha!)
36: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. | May 22, 1987 Rod, Arla, Marvel, Matt, Rene, Ginger and Dick
37: We will never forget that you flew down to be with us on our wedding day. What a wonderful surprise. We have been able to share so many of life's blessings with you since you have been in California. We love you very much Love Matt and Rene | Matt's 50th Birthday Party
39: Thank You Grandma for all of the fun memories you have provided me over the years! I will never forget the gift you gave me for my bridal shower! It was priceless! I will be telling my kids about it one day! Chris and I are looking forward to many more memories with you! Thank you and I love you! Love Always, Natalie
40: Happy birthday grandma I love you so much thank you for everything you've done! Love, Joey
41: Happy Birthday Grandma Marvel.. I hope it's everything you wished for & more! I Love You so much! Love, Amie | I love you very much, I hope your birthday is wonderful! Love, Malerie
42: Mom, You have always given generously, sacrificed often, supported unconditionally, and loved fiercely. You filled my childhood with a sense of wonder, an appreciation of adventure, and more than my fair share of happiness. I don't say often enough how much I admire you. You are an incredible woman, and a wonderful mother. I am so grateful that God gave me to you for your tender keeping. Love, ~Maggie
43: Marvel, As a teen you welcomed me into your home, as an adult you welcomed me into your heart when I married Maggie. Thank you for both. You’ve always been in my corner, and I’ve appreciated the support. Happy Birthday and many more. Love, Steve | Grandma, You’ve always been so sweet and kind to me. You’re always full of laughs and stories. Thank you for the love you’ve given me. I can only hope to be as great a woman as you are. Love, Rachel | Many happy memories... Love, Mary
46: Mom, I have been truly blessed to have you as my mom. You have always loved me.. no matter what. You have been there to share my life in good times and in bad times,supporting me with your love. You always gave of yourself and went with out so that we could have more. You shared your faith and helped me to develop my own personal relationship with Jesus. ( Even if is meant having dad drag me out of bed on Sunday.) You taught me the love of music, the love of dancing, the love of camping and the beauty of the world around me. You were by my side every step of the way as I became a wife and mother. I have cherished the moments watching you with Max. You are the rock of our family, always in my thoughts, always in my heart, always an inspiration to me and who I want to be as a mom. Love. Patty ( aka The Amazing One)
47: I Knew you would be my best friend from the day I was born. "My favorite thing to do with my Grandma is to play catch with my ball. Grandma loves playing catch with me. I love to give my grandma hugs and kisses. I want to tell my Grandma that I love her." - Max Yoken (4 yrs.)
48: Mom, We've had a few challenges, but we have definitely landed sunny side up. Being an only child of divorced parents I didn't know what family really was supposed to be until I met you. To have seven children that all love, respect, and enjoy each other's company says everything about you as a Mother, Grandma and Great Grandma. I feel fortunate to have met Patty and to have been brought into this amazing family that you have created. Love, Reid
49: My greatest memories of you are when you have to deal with Max's and my shenanigans that Max and I gave you over the years. You truly are a very caring, loving and epic grandma. Love Logan
52: Happy 80th Birthday! Marvel-ous! What makes you so "Marvel-ous": your infectious laugh all of the sacrifices you made your Mexican Domino rules your ability to be young at Eighty your sense of humor the genesis of such a beautiful family "Getting old is inevitable, staying young is optional"....Love, Dave, Paulette, Aidan & Morgan
53: Morgan, Paulette, Aidan and Dave December 2009 | ",
54: Marvel in different facets of what makes her | being a friend, family, sassy & Grandma
56: Dear Aunt Marvel, This is how I think of you... the instigator of fun, the loving second mom, the maker of amazing beef stroganoff (even if Patty doesn't like it), the dancer, the yeller, the life-blood of the family, the keeper of family history and secrets, the boo-boo kisser, the woman who made me do chores, the relative who Mark talks about the most, the unforgettable aunt, the one who always loved me no matter what I did while I was proving my independence..... You are so very much loved! Kirsten
58: You've been the best Aunt and Great Aunt and Great-Aunt-in-Law our family has ever had. Thanks for treating all of us like your own children, and for being our second mom time and time again. | Holidays Weddings Reunions Birthdays Dinners Sledding Swimming Cooking Dancing
59: When I introduced Mark to my family, it was so important to me that he meet you.... Otherwise, how would he know who I am? You're a big part of my life and who I am today. I love you! xxxooo Kirsten
61: To my favorite aunt, my Aunt Marvel, Auntie M! OK, yes, you are my only aunt. So this has to be to my most very, very favorite person older than me! Marvel, my earliest memories of you are of a fun-loving, full of laughter, adventurous, and caring person. Then, a little later the same person with lots of babies and two collies and STILL full of fun and laughter and caring and more adventures, which I was happily invited to be a part of so many times and over so many years. I can't thank you enough for being there for me, basically bailing me out of too many situations and always making me feel like I was doing *you* a favor! When I think of you, I think of your dining room table where pots of coffee (or sometimes a couple of cold beers as appropriate - haha) were shared and again, not only a place full of love and laughter for all that came through your door, but loving, philosophical, and spiritual guidance. Your home was always bursting with joy and your children and family are a testament to the wonderful person you are. I feel so privileged and lucky for all the times we've had together. I can't put into words what you've given me these past 65 years! Love, Jeannie
62: Aunt Marvel HAPPY BIRTHDAY to MY MOST FAVORITE AUNT IN THE WHOLE WORLD FROM YOUR FAVORITE NEPHEW (1st one on the left in the picture of us cool Creamer kids at the farm & who just elected himself your favorite nephew) 1st and foremost, Thanks for being such a wonderful and loving Aunt to all of us! I cannot believe how blessed all of us are to have such an awesome person in our lives whom has always loved us so much! I know you have always said you were such a brat when story telling about you and mom, but if that is the case, you are the most wonderful brat in the whole world! I so miss the stories that You and Mom used to share with us kids when we were all together, wherever that happened to be. I now realize that story telling is a genetic feature, as you tell 'em just like Pops did. I wish to Thank You so very much for always giving me the feeling of being the most important person in your life whenever I am with you! I Love You! DG
64: Dearest Aunti M...... Happy Birthday to my BFF! I wish I could be with you on this most important day, but know you are in my heart and so very special to me. Thanks for all you do and all you have done for me. You are truly my hero! | Love, Rox
66: A Blast from your past!!
67: Pics from Roxie
69: Dear Friend, And to think we said is wouldn't last. Look at the wonderful family and life that you have. I am so glad that we are both family and friends. Happy 80th! Love- Corrine and Ivan | Me and Him
70: Dearest Grandma Marvel, We wish you an amazing 80th birthday! You are an inspiration and truly a gift sent from heaven. We wish you continued good health and a year filled with more happiness. Sorry we are unable to be there..but we send you our hugs and kisses. Thank you for being who you are.... always giving and loving. We love you Grandma/Mom! Have a Fabulous birthday! Love, The Kongs
71: Happy birthday Marvel. You are one of the most generous, loving women that I know. You have a heart of gold and whenever you walk into the room, the room lights up. Thank you for always being there for me and treating me like a daughter. You have been like a mother to me and I am grateful to have you in my life. I love you very much and always will! Love, Lisa
74: Fairbanks Family From Our Neighborhood and St. Raphael's Church.
76: Your faith has always been a blessing to your children and your grandchildren. What a wonderful environment you have given to all of us as we grew up at St. Raphael's.
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