Mahlon Leon Marine
Mahlon Leon Marine
  • March 18, 1920 - July 2, 2017
  • Huntsville, Alabama

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Mahlon Leon (Mel) Marine passed into the care of his Savior on July 2, 2017. He was born in Rasar, Tennessee on March 18, 1920. He spent his young days in Happy Valley, Tennessee with his mother Nellie Susan Myers Marine, father Elmer Herman Marine and grandmother Belle Whitehead Marine. He and his older brother Kenneth spent their childhood hunting, fishing, and making mischief. Mahlon and his family moved to Friendsville, TN, when he was a young teen. His father taught him logging, carpentry, farming, and a love for music. He graduated from Lanier High School in a class of 17 students.

Mahlon joined the Army in 1942 while in college. He served in the Signal Corps in the Philippines, New Guinea, and Japan. He returned in 1946 to marry his sweetheart Dorothy Marguerite Cherry from Tampa, Florida. He continued his studies at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, served in the active Army Reserve, and became a father of two, first, Sue Elyn, then David Adrian.

In 1951, Mahlon was called to serve in the Korean Conflict. He helped oversee a supply and ammunition depot in Pusan, South Korea.

After returning from South Korea he finished his Mechanical Engineering degree and began working at Oak Ridge, TN adding two more daughters, Melissa Faye and Krista Jane. He went to work for SPACO and later SAFEGUARD in Huntsville, and added two more children, Raymond Keith and James Alan “Jimmy.” He became a civil service employee working in Birmingham for DCAS, later working on the Skylab project in Slidell, Louisiana. In 1978, the Marine family moved to North Carolina where he worked with AT&T Naval Surveillance in Burlington. He retired in 1986; he and Marguerite returned to Huntsville in 1999 where they became active in music and missions at Southside Baptist Church.

Mahlon was a gifted musician. If it had strings, he could play it. He especially enjoyed the fiddle, mandolin and guitar. He favored instrumental blue-grass, Chet Atkins, and Les Paul. He participated in the Golden Reflections Ukulele Band (GRUB) for many years. His fine tenor voice was featured in the Oldtimers Barbershop Quartet from Kingston, TN.

Mahlon could make or fix just about anything. He built cradles and rocking horses for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also made furniture for his home and carved beautiful birds and ducks that have become heirlooms.

Mahlon accepted Christ at the age of eighteen. Wherever he lived he was involved in church activities. He served on numerous committees, mission projects, and as a deacon. Two specific ministries that he was devoted to were the Tennessee River Mission and the Burlington Chapter of Gideons International. He taught teenage boys as well as elementary students in Sunday School and worked in Vacation Bible School. As a senior adult, he taught Bible verses to children of Sparkman Homes for several years.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Nellie and Elmer Marine; brothers, Kenneth and Harold; sisters, Margie Wilson and Olief Butcher; daughter, Melissa Howard and son, David.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Dorothy Marguerite; daughters, Sue, wife of Remigius Shatas; Krista, wife of Mark Lawley; sons, Raymond, husband of Janet, and Jimmy, husband of Renea; eight grandchildren, Mandy, wife of Mike Nelson, Lara, wife of Casey Lenard, Melissa, wife of Brandon Burks, Brian Marine, Cameron Marine, Austin Marine, Courtney Marine, and Logan Marine; three great-grandchildren, Melody, Marshall, and Marisa Nelson; a sister, Elaine, wife of Bill Roberts of Greenback, Tennessee, and numerous nieces and nephews.

We celebrate the life of this remarkable man, Mahlon Marine, a member of the “Greatest Generation”.

Visitation will be on Saturday, July 8, 2017 from 12:00pm until 2:00pm at Valhalla Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be at 2:00pm in Valhalla's Chapel. Interment will follow in Valhalla Memory Gardens, Garden of Valor. Please sign his guest registry at