Obituary: Marvel L. (Allen) Rhine

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Marvel L. (Allen) Rhine, age 95, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Thursday, 26 December, 2019, at her residence in McPherson, KS. She was born on 18 December, 1924, at her parents’ home in rural Haddam KS, the youngest of three daughters to Loyd and Phoebe (Rutherford) Allen.

Marvel was a child of the “Great Depression”. Her experience growing up in difficult times shaped an enduring sense of pragmatism, determination and resilience that she sought to pass along to her descendants. She attended a one room country primary school, then graduated from Haddam High School. Shortly after, in 1942 Marvel married her high school sweetheart, Melvin H. Rhine. The couple then set to farming and raising their family near Haddam. She also taught in a one room country primary school for a time before she began bearing her own children.

Marvel was a firm believer in education; a lifelong, avid reader – and inspired others with her love of learning. She was fiercely proud of being a Kansan and a farmer. She would let any new acquaintance know that she was from Haddam, Kansas and then ask them if they knew how to milk a cow. She enjoyed cooking and baking, sewing and quilting, and all her life loved caring for children. She ultimately became “Grandma Rhine” to multiple generations, far beyond the circle of her own family, in locations as varied as Omaha Nebraska, Houston Texas, Reston Virginia and Hollywood Florida. Described by some who knew her well as “a tiny force of nature”, and “kind, tough, caring, and thoughtful all in the same breath” – she was the nucleus about which the extended family seemed to revolve for decades.

Marvel is survived by her five children: Barry (Donna) Rhine, Dan Rhine, Karen (Leslie) Durst, Randy (Ilizete) Rhine and Bradley (Malu) Rhine; nine grandchildren; ten step-grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; 14 step-great-grandchildren; expectant first great-great- grandchild; plus multiple nieces, nephews, and their descendants. She was preceded in death by her parents, Loyd and Phoebe (Rutherford) Allen, her husband of 38 years, Melvin Rhine, her two sisters and their spouses, Juanita (Edwin) Novak and Eileen (Glen) Dolton, daughter-in-law Calista (Ryan) Rhine, and brother-in-law and spouse, Kenneth (Garnett) Rhine.

There are no plans for immediate funeral services. A family and friends graveside service and Celebration of Life will be held in Haddam, Kansas at a later date, to be announced, possibly near Memorial Day 2020.

In lieu of flowers or other consideration, the family suggests memorial donations to Sunflower Adult Day Services (Salina, KS) in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.

Among all the loving acts that deserve mention, there must be a special place reserved for a daughter-in-law such as Donna (Mortensen) Rhine. Marvel shared a home with her son, Donna and their children for many years, and the two developed an extremely close bond. Donna provided such diligent personal care to her mother-in-law during her declining years that Marvel was able to remain with family, at home, until her health at last no longer permitted.

Also, the entire family wishes to offer profound gratitude to Brenda Foster, RN, who provided such warm, personal and attentive care to Marvel in her Harmony Home during the final period of Marvel’s life. Brenda is a true gift to the world, who lives her creed and is a blessing deeply appreciated by the Marvel Rhine family.

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