Calvin Coolidge Marvin, who was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame for his 50 years of work with the sport, died at his home early Sunday, September 5, 2004. He was 80.
Marvin established Warroad, MN as “Hockeytown USA,” with Olympians, professional standouts and amateur stars coming out of the town of less than 2,000 residents.
“My dad made a humongous impact on the hockey world,” said his son, John Marvin, 36. “His love for our town and the growth of hockey in our town was unmatched.”
Cal Marvin was the youngest of five sons of lumber magnate, George Marvin, who went into business in 1907. Cal Marvin went into the resort and restaurant business. His brother, Bill, was longtime chairman and chief executive officer of Marvin Windows.
In the late 1940s, Cal Marvin founded the fabled Warroad Lakers, a senior league team of post-collegiate stars that skated with the best in the world. The Lakers played host to touring national teams from Canada, Finland, Sweden and other hockey powers. The Lakers won the Allan Cup, senior hockey’s equivalent of the Stanley Cup, in 1994, 1995 and 1996. The team folded in the late 1990s.
“These were amateur guys, guys with jobs and families,” Marvin told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis in April 2003. “They got a few bucks for dinner and piled into cars and buses for long road trips.”
“We laugh sometimes when they talk on TV about how hard it is for the pro teams to play three nights’ running. Hell, when we played for the Allan Cup, we had to play five nights straight if we were lucky enough to win.”
Marvin also helped found the men’s hockey program at the University of North Dakota. He was studying at UND in 1946 when he and Dan McKinnon of Williams approached the athletic director to get a hockey team going at the university.
For more than 38 years, Marvin also wrote a weekly back-page column for the Warroad Pioneer newspaper. He wrote about the goings-on in the northern Minnesota town that’s a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. Topics included the arrival of new babies, fund-raisers and anything else that caught his attention. He had said it was his way of trying to show there was more to life than hockey.
Marvin and his wife celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary last month. The couple raised 12 children.
Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Gardens Arena, 707 Elk St. NW, Warroad.