We received a piece of mail at our church in Devon, AB, that was such a blessing from an amazing man in our congregation and a dear, dear friend to our family. I also noticed that Prairie College was included in that blessing. I am speechless and shocked, although I shouldn’t be. I am sure there are times where the college is gifted donations from people who pass away. As a dear friend of his, I just wanted to share with you his personality and give you an insight into this man.
Marvin Kaus was born in Bruderheim, AB, on April 6, 1926, and was nearly 96 when he went to be with his Lord and Savior on February 26, 2022. He married Olga in 1953 and they were together over 62 years. Their first baby, Steven, was stillborn and they never did have another one. Marvin worked for Imperial Oil while farming the family farm in Bruderheim. He and Olga later moved to Devon, staying on with Imperial Oil until retiring in 1983. They were actively involved in Devon Alliance Church since 1964.
Marvin had a passion for music. He played the violin while his wife played the piano when they were younger, and he later took to playing the harmonica. He would not leave his home without a harmonica in his front pocket. The first time I truly got to know Marvin was when my mom was sick and getting blood work done. He was in the waiting room with me and asked me if he could play me a hymn. Ever since that day, he held a piece of my heart.
In 2013/14, I lost both of my parents. Our daughter, Ginny, was 12 at the time and super close to them, and I’m sure Marvin would have seen us together at church. When they passed away, Marvin would greet me at the door each Sunday, and ask me how I was doing. He was such a gentle soul. Something about him made me think of my parents.
When Marvin’s wife got sick, I was an EMR for AHS and I would stop by the hospital after my shifts, sit with them, and help him take care of her. Olga passed away in 2016, and because Marvin was alone with no kids of his own, we continued to visit him, and our relationship genuinely started growing.
Marvin was a caring Godly man with a sense of humor. Marvin was someone who made you strive to have a stronger faith with God. When he prayed, whether it be for the dinner you were about to eat, or for your child that was hurting, it would bring tears to your eyes. His words to God were so heartfelt and genuine, it was as though Jesus was sitting right there among us, a close friend of Marvin’s. He truly honored and loved his Savior.
Marvin was a volunteer usher at our church, and every Sunday after church, he would shake my hand on the way out. I would ask him how he was and he would say, “The good Lord is watching over me, so I am well.” Marvin and I became good friends. Lunchtime visits became our thing. He had so many interesting stories to tell, and he would often bless me with his harmonica playing.
Marvin led by example. He once told me that he woke up every morning at 4:30 a.m. I asked him, “Why?” (He was in his 90’s after all; wasn’t this his prime time to sleep in?) He answered, “There is so much to do and so much to pray for. I wake up to start the day with the Lord.” He read through the Bible multiple times, and he would continue to do so until the Lord took him home. His conversations throughout the day would include verses and thankfulness to God. His actions reminded me of a disciple of Jesus. He always had a firm handshake or greeted you with a comforting hug. After every visit, I always left with the yearning to do more, be better, and share God’s love as Marvin did.
Marvin was refreshingly generous but spent every single penny wisely. Up until his last days on this earth, he wouldn’t feel comfortable spending any money on himself but knew exactly where that money would one day be going. What blessed our heart even more was his love for Prairie College.
When Ginny started attending Prairie, Marvin told us how great he thought the college was and how happy he was to hear she decided to attend. He was so interested in her schooling and classes. He looked so forward to hearing about her experiences at Prairie and how this school was providing Christian education to students, building their faith like no other. When Marvin donated a sizeable gift towards Ginny’s first year of schooling, I was shocked and humbled. It was a lot of money; what did we do to deserve it?
His generosity reminded me of my parents. They would have given the shirt off their backs, and I am certain that they would have supported Ginny financially throughout her time at Prairie. To have a grandchild attend Bible College would have been an answer to prayer for my mom.
Though Marvin was somewhat taken aback by the fact that his donation was not receiptable, it must not have bothered him long. He supported her again with another generous donation in her second year and another in her third year. I tried to show him gratitude with little gifts at Christmas and birthdays, but he didn’t care for materialistic things. He preferred our friendship and company.
This was huge for us, especially with Ginny’s entire tuition being student loans. It lessened the load, and we felt blessed beyond measure. I thank God for that man and his generosity. Marvin wasn’t just a friend of ours, he was family to us. He was an angel in a time of sorrow and need. We were truly blessed to have him in our lives.