Marvin (Mervin) Wallace Hovorka

Marvin (Mervin) Wallace Hovorka

1938 - 2024

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Marvin (Mervin) Wallace

Obituary of Marvin (Mervin) Wallace Hovorka

A devoted son and big brother, a beloved husband, an inspirational father, grandfather, great-grandfather, a valued friend to many, and a dedicated community member.

On Saturday, June 29th, 2024, at St. Boniface Hospital, with his loving wife and immediate family members by his side Marvin peacefully left us and joined his parents, many family members, and friends in Heaven. Marvin was born in Vassar, Manitoba on February 8th, 1938. He was the first son of Joseph and Lillian Hovorka and the first grandson for both the Hovorka’s and the Schindler’s.

In 1958, after attending Teacher’s College, Marvin married Doris Cote whom he had been dating throughout their high school years. They were married on June 28th, 1958. They had five children: Bronko (Charlene), Penelope (Lance), Emilia (Mark), Melissa (Walter), Mary-Jo (Cory): 17 grandchildren, Meagan (Chase), Jenilee, Joanna (Casey), Mervin (Melissa), Warren (Laura), Dorissa (Donivin), Bobbi (Sean), Terri-Lynn (Tyler), Donald (Suzanne), Garret (Nicole), Ian Jr., Cyrus, Tianna, Destiny, Joshua, Skyla, Talon: 11 great-grandchildren, Lillie, Alexander, Hunter, Bronc, Aviera, Wyatt, Bailey, Ella, Emalee, Kelvona, Beau. Marvin is also survived by two sisters: Muriel and Linda, two brothers: Terry and Brian, one aunt: Millie, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and many brothers and sisters-in law. Marvin was the last “outlaw” in the Cote family. 

Marvin had many fond memories of the school he attended across the road from where his parents lived at Whitemouth Lake, Manitoba.  As a child he was fascinated by the books that the old school library had and he read all the books, not only once but twice and some three times. Three of his favorite teachers were Pauline Kreycik, Andy Alexiuk, and Mr. Hamm, he had nothing but good things to say about them as they had great influence on his future. Marvin completed grade 9 and 10 in Vassar. He was a very talented baseball player. A coach from Baudette saw his gift for athleticism and gave him a scholarship. Marvin completed his high school in Baudette, Minnesota where he played baseball, hockey, and football. After completing high school, Marvin worked for his dad for one year and decided that he wanted to further educate himself.  He went to teacher’s college, taught school for three years then his Dad had a terrible accident where he broke his neck, so Marvin was called home to run the family business for another year. Marvin and Doris then moved to Winnipeg in 1962 where Marvin taught school for two years at Sisler High School and coached Junior High Basketball.   

Marvin wanted to obtain a university degree in Manitoba, but because he did not have a second language, he had to go to Bemidji State University in Minnesota. He returned to Manitoba as a class 5 teacher in 1966 and took a position at Ross L. Gray School as Principal. During that time, Marvin studied at the University of Manitoba and received a degree in Administration giving him a class 6 teacher certification.  Marvin started many school activities at Ross L. Gray School, and some are still running today such as the yearbook, basketball program, Prom, Spring Fun Fair etc. In 1976, Marvin resigned as Principal and went into the world of business.

While running the forestry business he ventured into other areas. He purchased the Piney Transfer which he sold in 1983. He purchased a family run business; Border Esso Gas station, restaurant, and Autopac which he and Doris ran from 1979-1988. He ran a gas station and garage which had a Barko Loader and a Jonsered chainsaw dealership. e sold brado Loaders HeIn 1988, he started farming and was still involved with farming today. He was Reeve for the RM of Piney for four terms, 1977-1983 and 2002-2010. Marvin was also very proud to pass on his third-generation forestry business, the Hovorka Legacy, to his son Bronko.

Marvin developed a strong work ethic and love for the land from his parents. But his role as principal in a small rural community developed a strong sense of social responsibility in Marvin. As a result, he passed on to his children a strong work and business ethic plus a strong sense of community involvement and leadership skills. Marvin contributed greatly to the development and success of many community ventures. He was very influential in building the Sprague Arena, East Borderland Community Housing, Sprague Museum and in bringing the Sungro Peat Moss Plant to Vassar. At the groundbreaking ceremony, the head representative pointed at Marvin and stated clearly that this plant would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Reeve, Marvin Hovorka.  Marvin was very much involved in developing the Piney Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Community Services Co-op which is now working very hard to get Senior housing for our area.

Marvin was a very humble man and would rather give a simple answer than seek applause.  Marvin spent many hours traveling to meetings. He sat through more meetings than most people would have patience for so he could help make the community a better place for everyone. His last meeting attended was on May 6th, 2024, for the 210-road development in Woodridge, Manitoba. At that time, he was very sick but was determined to attend as he had valuable information to share.  Marvin knew that it took commitment and dedication to push for rural community economic growth and development.  He truly believed that the Eastman area deserved the same opportunities to thrive as any other. Marvin supported community events and enjoyed going so he could visit and talk to anyone that would listen. The last project he worked on was a grant application to the Co-op Community Spaces 2024 for a Sprague community walking trail and park that would provide local-residents, tourists, and other communities with the benefits of outdoor active living. Unfortunately, the project funding was not supported this year but that will not stop his family and the community from applying again so his vision will be achieved.

Marvin loved all his family, and they truly were his inspiration to dream big and live every day with a smile on his face. His heart, despite being weak was filled with so much love and pride for all the moments shared with his family. His wife of 66 years, Doris, was the center of his world and their love was admirable and something special to witness as it demonstrated an everlasting commitment and devotion that will be eternally bound through their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Each of his children have special memories that they will hold close to their hearts as their dad always advised, supported, and encouraged them to be leaders in their own life without judgement. Each of his grandchildren and/or great-grandchildren will always have special moments to cherish as he was just the type of grandpa that would lift you up and make you laugh when needed.  Each of his siblings will always remember him as a loving big brother to confide in who showed strength and good will. His strong role-modeling not only impacted his family, but also so many others throughout his lifetime experiences.  He truly will be missed…



Just Remember…

I am a Jack of all trades and a master of none,

My spirit has been left in the bush, in the fields, and in each & everyone.

My true accomplishment in life,

Was the love for my family and especially my dear wife.

My humble heart has lifted me to a special place,

The angels in heaven have offered me grace.

I did not suffer as the Lord knew I needed to stay,

I had to hang on for that one special day.

That day will always be dear to my heart,

It was our anniversary that caused it all to start.

The moment that your mother and I said, “I do,”

The Lord specifically planned each one of you!

The perfection, the creativity, the skill that it took,

I had to come and thank him personally, just to look.

You all know me to be a well read and curious guy,

It was the love of all your hearts that lead me up to the sky.

Finally, I can see all the potential in the world,

It was everything I imagined when I first looked at her.

We started this together my dear loving wife,

We will always be together through good times and strife.

The gates of heaven were awaiting me as your prayers were heard,

The Lord says that you put in a good word.

I can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve done,

On this earth and the next you will always be my special one.

I don’t want you to cry or make a big fuss,

I just want you all to remember how I love you so much!

(Poem written by his Baby-Jo)


The family thanks all the relatives and friends who supported them during this difficult time and would like to acknowledge East Borderland Primary Health Care Center, Roseau and St. Boniface Hospitals for all their care and compassion.

The celebration of life service will take place at the Sprague Community Center on Friday, August 2nd, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.

 Donations can be made to the Sprague and District Historical Museum Inc. &/or East Borderland Community Housing Inc.

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Memorial Service

1:30 pm
Friday, August 2, 2024
Sprague Community Hall
2045 PR-308
Sprague, Manitoba, Canada