Marvin Clarence Fretheim

Marvin Clarence Fret-heim, 85, of Shelby, Mont., passed away on Jan. 23, 2021, of natural causes, with his family by his side. Services were held at the Valley View Cemetery in Shelby on Thursday, Jan. 28.

Marvin was born on July 1, 1935, in Conrad, Mont., at St. Mary’s Hospital, to Melford and Margaret Fret-heim. He was joined by his younger brothers, Myron in 1938, and Milton in 1940. Marvin lost his father when he was 12 years of age. He graduated from Shelby High School and married Mary Ellen Schultz in 1954. To this union was born two sons, Mike in 1955 and Mel in 1956. Tragically, Mary Ellen passed away in 1957 due to a car accident.  

On Jan. 31, 1959, he married Brenda Jones of Conrad. They started their married life lasting 62 years, blessed with two daughters, Marlea in 1959 and Marsha in 1968.

Throughout Marvin’s life he was a diligent worker. To list a few of his jobs he hauled gravel for Highway 2, as well as working for several farmers around the area, before Marvin and Myron continued the farming and ranching operation southeast of Shelby by the Marias River. 

In 1964, he attended Graham School Inc. in Garnett, Kan., to study cattle husbandry. Marvin was also involved in community services, such as being on the Nickol School Board, ASCS Committee, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church Council and was a on the board of trustees for 32 years for Marias River Electric Cooperative.

Marvin loved being with his family and friends. Ranching and farming consumed his day and his nickname, “Cow Boss,” described his personality to a “T.” On those rare occasions when he wasn’t working, he enjoyed fishing, playing cards, going to rodeos and reading. He was always willing to offer a neighbor a helping hand. Marvin was a historian of stories of days gone by and respected by all who were there to listen. He was loved by many, especially by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

His support and love will continue to be cherished by his dear wife, Brenda, and those who adored him.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda; children, Mike (Cindy), Mel (Lynda), Marlea Irvin (Mike), all of Shelby, and Marsha Diemert (Darron) of Johnstown, Colo.; his brother, Milton (Judy), of Columbia Falls; sister-in-law, Connie Fretheim; brothers and sisters-in-law, Roy and Marie Jones of New Hampshire, Barry and Barbara Jones of Iowa, and Aunt Mary Davis of Oregon; along with his special Aunt-in-law, Helen Elliott of Conrad. He was adored by his seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, with one on the way. He is also survived by many of his nieces and nephews.

Marvin was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Dewey Fowler; his wife, Mary Ellen; his brother, Myron; along with many uncles, aunts and cousins. 

Memorials can be made to Toole County 4-H Counsel or any other charity of your choice. Condolences can be made to