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Thanks for being part of my life

Aug 31, 2012 - Marvin Schlichenmayer

Editor's note: Longtime Ranger printing superintendent Marvin J. Schlichenmayer, known to his Ranger cohorts as "Slick" during his 29-year career her from 1966-95, and thereafter as a columnist following his retirement, asked that the following column be used as his obituary. He died on Aug. 19.

First of all, I am A.K.A "Tex."

Why?

Let me explain.

When I was born in Shattuck, Okla., my mother was assisted by a Texas doctor who added that imprint on everything he touched, including his old mule -- and me. Adding the fact that I was raised in North Dakota should help explain the "why." It all makes sense if you don't think about it.

I was born Oct. 1, 1926, to my parents, John and Elizabeth, and was the last of 11 children. There were four brothers and six sisters. All were born, raised and educated in or near the little town of Turtle Lake, except for one sister who died in infancy.

Graduating from high school during the World War II period, all plans for my immediate future were pre-determined due to military service requirement. I enlisted in the Navy in October of 1944. I was discharged in 1946.

For the most part I fought the battle of 1st Avenue in Seattle. I was not awarded a purple heart for wounds received in combat, but I should have for surviving experiences in an environment no 18-year-old farm boy should be exposed to.

After discharge I joined the ranks of government-subsidized hell-raisers at North Dakota School of Science, an up-and-coming technical school. After two years they kicked me out to fend for myself as a qualified printer, pressman, Linotype operator and hell-raiser.

Surviving quite well at my chosen profession, I convinced myself to take on the responsibility of a wife. I asked Vera Funston for her hand in marriage, which was the proper procedure in those days.

Several months later we were married in a community church in Le Center, Minn. After the ceremony we celebrated at a wayside inn outside of town called "The Little Dandy." There, by the insistence of a group of "friends," we were subjected to a mock wedding ceremony which included a reminder of our shortcomings, all fabricated, and asked to swear acceptance of those faults before they allowed us to seal that part of the fate of our future with what they described as a "kiss of death," which was loudly applauded.

Wanting to be experienced in all aspects of my trade, we moved often, to wherever new learning opportunities were available. We were at home in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Cody, Worland Thermopolis and

Riverton was our last stop. After 29 years of service to the Riverton Ranger Inc., I retired.

Our four children, Deborah, Mark, Michaele, and Brenda, accompanied us on our many journeys. They shared our nest until the urge to test their wings overcame them. Then, one by one they flew away.

I retired in 1995, willing and able to accept a monthly check from my Uncle Sam which allowed me to enjoy, without guilt, a full-time loafing agenda, to occasionally sink deep into my recliner and reminisce about days gone by, and to record some of those thoughts in story form. And also to enjoy the "golden years" which had finally come to pass.

Did you hear it first from me?

"The golden years are a kick in the pants!"

Thank you for reading this.

P.S. "Pants" is not the word I was searching for, but I just could not come up with a fitting word to rhyme with "pass."

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In compliance to my desire that the foregoing summary of my life be used as my obituary, I will pass on some personal thoughts.

I leave behind, with some remorse, all the tangible possessions I accumulated.

I also leave behind, with no remorse, those who survive me: my wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives and friends, and immediate family members.

I say "with no remorse" because I am grateful that they

have outlived me. The old should go first.

The birth of a child marks the beginning, and is a gift from God. Death marks the end, which is also a part of his plan. The interim years are variable and controllable, according to our actions, hope, desires and application of our given talents.

Rejoice in the arrival of a newborn. It is a miracle which creates an implosion of wonder and joy to all who surround it.

Mourn not in the inevitable occurrence of death. Temper your sorrow with the thought that this is the moment when the spirit is released from the body to continue its journey into the realm of eternity.

Thank you for being a part of my life.

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