Marvin P. Bernau
Marvin P. Bernau, 70, West Des Moiunes, passed away Friday, April 24, 2020 at his home. His immediate family will have a service at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 28, at Mittelstadt Funeral Home, Lake Mills, with Pastor Randy Baldwin officiating. Burial will follow at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Scarville. The service a will be streamed live on the funeral home’s Facebook page beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Due to state and federal guidance on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family will not be having a public memorial at this time.
Marvin Philip Bernau was born at Naeve Hospital, Albert Lea, Minn., to parents Otto Albert and Alice Ann (Wagner) Bernau, Dec. 31, 1949. He liked to say that he was born “during the last half of the last hour of the last day of the first half of the last century.” Marvin was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Scarville.
Marvin attended primary school in Emmons, Minn., and earned his high school diploma from the Southern School of Agriculture, Waseca, Minn. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Mechanical Arts from the University of Minnesota-St. Paul.
Marvin and Susan Kay (Bye) were united in marriage, Aug. 29, 1971 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Scarville. The couple settled on a farmstead located halfway between their parents’ farms west of Emmons, Minn.
Marvin and Susan owned and operated Bernau Enterprises, and later, Stateline Construction, Inc. Their business focused on township road maintenance, farm drainage, and excavation. The couple transitioned to family farming while rearing their three children: Matt, Rachel, and Lindsey. Marvin wanted to teach his children the same work ethic that he acquired during his younger years “pitching manure, grinding feed, and baling hay.” Thereafter, he built a modest grain and sheep enterprise where his wish was realized. Marvin and his family transitioned the farm to organic management methods in the late 1990’s.
Marvin enjoyed spending time with his family and reading Louis L’amour western novels. He was a brilliant conversationalist who could debate virtually any topic with anyone from anywhere. Marvin enjoyed operating and repairing farm and construction equipment while always researching unconventional methods to accomplish his goals.
In 2008, Marvin suffered a life-altering stroke, and his positive attitude allowed him to quickly adapt to a brand new set of circumstances. He spent his later years living in West Des Moines, with his wife, Susan. Susan worked nights, so that she could spend time with Marvin when the sun shined.
Marvin will be missed by his wife, Susan; their three children and four grandchildren; Matthew (Megan) Bernau, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Rachel (Derek) Francart and their children, Lukas and Amanda, Rising Sun, Md.; Lindsey (Sean) Maher and their children, Caroline and Laiden, Claremont, Minn.; three brothers: Merrill (Debi) Bernau, Emmons, Minn.; Martin (Julie) Bernau, Alden, Minn.; and Mark Bernau (Cindy Bernau), Madison, Wis.; along with several nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Alice Bernau; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Orlando and Zella Bye; nephew, Nicholas Bernau; and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, James and Carol Bye.