Marvin Francis VanLysel

MADISON-Marvin Francis VanLysel, age 79, passed suddenly at his home on Thursday morning, Aug. 7, 2014.

He was born Nov. 29, 1934, Thanksgiving Day, in Wisconsin Rapids, the oldest child of Lawrence and Bibiana (Stublaski) VanLysel. He came to Madison in 1939 and attended many local schools including St. James, East and Central. In 1951 he moved to Davenport, Iowa with his mother and step-father, returning to Madison the day after his graduation from Davenport High.

His girlfriend was here. He and Janice Starkweather, the love of each other's life had met during his sophomore year at Central. They were married on Oct. 16, 1954 and would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year. Marvin was a master plumber working mostly as a foreman on larger new construction, including American Family and the area hospitals. He was one of those guys who could fix and build anything.

Marvin helped his father with house construction in the Adams area and built rooms on his own home which he and Janice had bought in 1960. He was right there if anyone needed help and was usually the first one his family and friends called. Marvin served as equipment manager for Mike and Steve's scout troop, always transported Sally's scout troop wherever they needed to go and served on the Plumbers' Union executive board several terms.

He was a John Bell DAR HODAR (husband of a Daughter of American Revolution), driving Janice to her various meetings. Marvin was the one who took care of his parents and step-parents during their final days and helped out with Janice's mother. That's just the kind of guy he was. If you needed him, he was there. Marvin loved to travel and he and Janice drove all over the United States, only missing two states. Door County for their anniversary week was a favorite place. He loved the Packers, Badgers and fishing. Marvin was an avid hunter who lived for, planned for all year long and dreamed of hunting on the 40 acres he owned outside Adams. But his greatest passion was his family and for them he had his widest smiles. Marvin would do anything for them and their hearts are broken.

Marvin is survived by his wife, Janice; his children, Michael VanLysel (Rosalie Hovey) and Sally VanLysel, both of Madison, and Stephen (Karen) VanLysel of DeForest; his grandchildren, Angela (Paul) Bellmore of DePere, Amy (Bryan) Bellows of Farmington, Minn., Andrew Anderson of Rockford, Matthew VanLysel and Neil VanLysel both of DeForest and Brooke Andersen of Madison; great-grandchildren, Jameson, Ava and little-miss-no-name-yet (due in November) Bellows of Farmington, Minn; sister-in-law, Linda (Harley) Spilde of McFarland; brothers-in-law, Peter Starkweather of Fla. and Madison, David Starkweather of New York City; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and step-parents, Thelma VanLysel of Adams and Ray Degenhardt of Davenport; father and mother-in-law, Walter E. and Norma Starkweather of Madison; his sister, Marcella Manley of Wisconsin Rapids; and two nephews, Joel and Jeff Manley of Wisconsin Rapids. Marvin fought a brave and noble battle with Alzheimer's. His good humor, his gratitude, his smile, his effort of continuing to be independent and to carry on made it so much easier to walk this painful road home with him. He always said that he did not want to leave his home any way but feet first from a heart attack and he did just that, for which we are very grateful.

He was a loving, devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who had an absolutely beautiful smile, especially for them. He will be forever missed and forever mourned by his equally devoted family.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. DENNIS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 505 Dempsey Rd, Madison, at 11 a.m., on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, with Father Randy Timmerman presiding.

Visitation will be held at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to the Alzheimer's Association. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive

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