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Dr. Marvin ‘Doc’ Kaski

ESCANABA – On May 3, 2022, Dr. Marvin Carl (Doc) Kaski, 87, from Escanaba, reunited with his beloved wife Barbara – who preceded him in his death in 2012. He was staying at Sunny View AFC in Flat Rock and died a natural death.

Marvin was born in Crystal Falls on September 3, 1934 to Edith (Lind) and Eino Kaski, and grew up on the Kaski family farm with older siblings Donald and Geraldine. Marvin nurtured his memories of growing up on a country estate and often visited him later in life to reminisce and share stories with family members. He grew up working hard – taking care of animals and the farm in general on a daily basis – but he continued to dedicate himself to success in sports and learning.

Attending Forest Park High School in Crystal Falls, Marvin was a prominent defender in basketball (despite his short stature), and was known throughout the UP for his basketball abilities, leadership, and athleticism. It was a time when he met the love of his life and the queen of prom night (his prom king) Barbara Plankey.

He was also very active at the Iron County 4-H Club and earned a full scholarship from the organization to attend Michigan State College (now MSU). Marvin’s kindness, love for animals and experience with animal husbandry led him to study veterinary medicine.

During his stay at MSU, he and Barbara got married and started a family. He worked hard during the summer breaks from his studies to support his family through various jobs, including working in the Iron County mines. After graduating from MSU as a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM), the family returned to Crystal Falls where Marvin opened his own practice. For economic reasons, the family moved to Bay City, Mich., Where Marvin worked as a state meat inspector, and then to Green Bay, Wis., In a similar position. The family wanted to return to UP and Marvin to practice his vocation, so in 1969 they bought and renovated an old gas station on US 2, between Escanabe and Gladstone, and founded the Bay Veterinary Clinic.

Dr. Marvin ‘Doc’ Kaski

With Barbara as office manager and Marvin taking care of pets and making ‘farm calls’, they ran the clinic until his retirement in 1992. He was a professional and practical veterinarian who served his clients well and served his ‘patients’ with compassion. And many inappropriate or unwanted animals returned home with him.

As a young adult, Marvin was a fairly successful softball pitcher for the Infield Bar in Crystal Falls, and his teammates from those years were his lifelong friends.

Over the years, Marvin has maintained huge vegetable gardens and an apple orchard and enjoyed daily walks through the woods with his dog (or dogs). During his childhood, until the last hours, he always had a dog escort with him. He enjoyed golfing with his friends (though he would quickly admit it wasn’t good for him) and made the annual Bass Festival ‘Closed’ golf trip with them. He was involved in the Wells Lions Club and Wildlife Unlimited for many years and had lifelong friends from these groups. Marvin was an astute card player and a sought-after teammate for the Trivial Pursuit during family gatherings – his depth of knowledge stretched topics from esoteric to everyday and made him a formidable opponent. He was a master of crossword puzzles – he passed this interest on to his children – and would leave unfinished puzzles on the dining room table as an open challenge.

Marvin’s love of sports, which began in his youth, never waned. He and Barbara traveled all over Michigan watching their children and grandchildren compete in football, basketball, track, gymnastics and horseback riding. An avid sports fan in Detroit and MSU, Marvin has attended many games with his family over the years.

Marvin was proud of his Finnish heritage and was a fan of St. Urh, but he loved St. Patrick’s Day. Patrick and the parties he organized for the celebration were epic. Dom Kaski was a warm and tempting place for family gatherings and holidays, casual gatherings with friends at cards or billiards (he was also a bit of a shark, of course), or for those just passing by who wanted a little camaraderie and conversation.

In later years, Marvin loved listening to music and singing. He remembered the lyrics of almost every song he had ever heard, even those from his younger days. He loved his alma mater and knew the MSU battle song word for word – it was probably the last song he ever sang.

Marvin was a esteemed and loyal friend to many and his compassion and companionship will be missed by all who knew him. He was a rare blend of kindness, intelligence, humor, humility and ability. Social by nature and at the same time a man of few words. But he made his words count: when he spoke, you listened because his words contained wisdom.

Marvin crossed the veil to join Barbara; his grandchildren, Josh Kaski (son of Mike and Reid Kaski) and John Hammar (son of Laurie and Dave Hammar); his parents; his siblings; and many good friends. We are left behind in grief. We remember him with respect. And we celebrate that he is reunited with his beloved, in a longing embrace, and dances forever.

Marvina is survived by an extended loving family, including daughter Kathleen Paulson (Dan Mylander); grandson, Kyle Paulson (Sarah Szwejda); and Dan’s children, Kevin Mylander, Cory Mylander (Jen Sebeck) and their children Ayden, Ailiyah and Aubrey; and Casey Mylander and his daughter, Jersie; daughter Lynn Curtis (Ken Curtis) and grandchildren Scott Young (Vandanna Young) and their children Kaiden, Maliha, Zoe and Bella; Jeremy Young; and Griffin Curtis (Melissa) and their daughter Freya; son Michael Kaski (Reid Sackett) and grandson Shane Kaski; daughter Laurie Hammar and granddaughter Sarah Hammar; son, Patrick Kaski (Terri), and grandson, Brendan Kaski, and Terra’s children, Joe Young, Eric Young (Amy) and their children Mallory and Avery.

The family would like to pay tribute to Becky Jacques for the years of compassionate care and true friendship she offered Marvin in his later years.

And a special thank you to Julie and the staff at Sunny View for taking great care of Marvin and letting him sing and eat cookies to his heart’s content. He was really happy to be with you.

A celebration of Marvin’s life will be held on July 7 in Escanaba. Details will be announced by the family. If you want to help keep his legacy alive, the family is asking for donations to be made on his behalf to the Iron County 4-H Club to support youth programs: Iron County 4-H, Iron County Courthouse, 2 South 6th St., Crystal Falls, MI 49920

The Kaski family helps the Skradski Family Funeral Home in Escanaba.

For more information or to leave a message of condolences to the family, visit www.Skradski funeral homes.com.

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