Marion E. Archinal passed away on March 15, 2017; he was 104 years old.
Marion was born March 6, 1913, in a log cabin on a 50 acre farm between Dover and Zoar, Ohio to Jacob and Catherine L. (May) Archinal. Marion was raised speaking German until his family moved to Dover proper in 1918.
Marion attended Dover public schools. He played right guard and tackle on the 1931 Dover High School football team. He was proud that team beat the rival New Philly Quakers and the acclaimed Massillon Tigers. Regarding the latter game, he recently chuckled and noted "I made some really good tackles!" Marion also participated in track and played tenor saxophone in the band and orchestra. He graduated in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression and was fortunate to get a job on Andrew Espenschied's dairy farm. He worked there until early 1941 when he landed a position as a clerk with the Veterans Administration and moved to Washington D.C.
Marion was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942, assigned to the 94th Infantry Division, trained in Kansas, Tennessee and Mississippi, obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant and commanded a mortar platoon. The 94th shipped out to England in August 1944 on the SS Queen Elizabeth. On D-Day +94, Marion landed at Normandy, France on Utah Beach and then entered combat in Brittany. In early January 1945, the 94th and Marion were attached to General Patton's Third Army, saw action in the last part of the Battle of the Bulge and in numerous other battles as the Third Army pushed across southern Germany that spring. Marion's battalion was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and Marion was awarded a Bronze Star, in recognition of their roles in repulsing a series of fierce enemy counter attacks in order to maintain a bridgehead on the east bank of the Saar River near Lampaden, Germany. The 94th spent 209 days in combat. Marion commented: "... I was glad to serve. I was glad to be able to do a decent job".
Returning to Dover in late 1945, Marion found employment at the post office. Marion courted Donna Mae Rausch and they married in 1950. Together they raised two sons, participated in community events, enjoyed their gardens and were active members of St. John's Church. At various times, Marion served as an officer for the local postal union. Marion retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1976 after 34 years of Federal service. He then worked part-time for Baker Florist and as a handyman. He and Donna were active members of NARFE, traveled together to numerous destinations in the U.S. and Canada, and frequently visited their sons. Donna passed away in 2012.
After residing in Dover for 99 years, Marion moved to The Woodlands, Texas to be close to family. He appreciated the interaction with and the friendship of the residents and staff at Brookdale Place, where he resided. Marion participated in poker and blackjack games, numerous music programs and other events, and particularly enjoyed his recent elaborate and musical 104th birthday party. He walked extensively; his motto: "Keep moving!".
Marion is survived by sons Bruce (Mary Ann) and Brent (JoAnne) Archinal, grandsons Andrew (Stephanie) and Brian Archinal, and great grandson Andrew James Archinal. Marion's brother, Herman, preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 21 at 2:00 pm in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home and Crematory at Dover with Rev. Thomas Dunkle officiating. Interment will be at the Dover Burial Park. Friends may call at the funeral home one hour prior to the service on Tuesday. Those wishing to express their fondest memories of Marion may do so by visiting the online obituaries and flowers link on the funeral home's website.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Marion's memory to St. John's United Church of Christ, 409 N. Wooster Ave., Dover, Ohio 44622.