Obituary: Marlin Hillrichs (05/23/22) | The Mars Daily Sentinel


On Friday, April 15, 2022, Marlin Dean Hillrichs of McKinney, Texas, formerly of Akron, Iowa, passed away peacefully in his sleep after a long and fruitful life of 89 years.

Marlin was born on September 4, 1932, to Fred and Alma Hillrichs (née Meinen) of rural Akron. He was the second of five children and was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Preston Township. Growing up on a farm in northwest Iowa proved very influential in Marlin’s life, where he learned the value of hard work, thrift and perseverance. He attended elementary school at a one-room country school and graduated from Akron High School in 1951.

Marlin’s adult and family life began with a two-year stint in the United States Army where he served with distinction in the Korean War. Returning home, he went to work for Swift & Company in Sioux City and met a pretty redhead, Pearl Ardyce Nelson, who worked in the commercial department of the city. They were married on August 24, 1957, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sioux City and would celebrate 64 years of married life together.

Taking advantage of the benefits offered by the GI Bill, Marlin enrolled at Morningside College in Sioux City, working days and attending evening classes while supporting his growing family which now included his daughters, Julie and Cynthia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in livestock marketing in 1963. Their son, Douglas, would arrive in 1964 and daughter, Susan, three years later in 1967.

Marlin spent a total of 37 years with Swift & Company as manager of beef departments at meatpacking plants in Yakima, Washington, Dumas, Texas, Grand Island, Nebraska, Clovis, New Mexico and Des Moines. , Iowa. He was also a sales manager for Western Valley Packing Company in Gering, Nebraska, for five years.

A man of faith, the church was central to Marlin’s life. He served on many committees over the years, inaugurated and sang in the church choir. A family man, the welfare of his wife and children was foremost in his thoughts and actions. Businessman, honesty was paramount. Marlin’s word was his bond, and he instilled these values ​​in his children and grandchildren.

In 2001, Marlin and Pearl moved to San Antonio, Texas to be closer to their four children and four grandchildren. They settled into retirement and traveled much of the continental United States in their motorhome. They also visited Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and 12 European countries.

Those golden years also involved spending lots of time with family and friends, participating in church activities at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Boerne, Texas, and growing bumper crops of tomatoes, oranges and lemons in their garden. They moved to McKinney, Texas on April 4, 2022.

Marlin was a longtime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Boerne, Texas, and the American Legion’s Albert E. Hoschler Post 186 in Akron, Iowa.

Marlin was predeceased by his parents, Fred and Alma Hillrichs; her stepmother and stepfather, Peter and Astrid Nelson; two sisters, infant Marlys Hillrichs and Carol Clarey; brothers-in-law, Paul Clarey and Richard Cadwell; and sisters-in-law, Loretta Hillrichs, Carol Cadwell and Judy Nelson.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Pearl; a son, Douglas and his wife Ingrid Hillrichs of Frisco, Texas, and their children, Jonathan of Frisco, Texas, and Luke of Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany; three daughters, Julie Hillrichs of Frisco, Texas; Cynthia and her husband Gus Rhodes of Marble Falls, Texas, and their daughter Mariah of Plano, Texas; and Susan and her husband Paul Rosenbluth of McKinney, Texas, and their daughter, Claire of Arlington, Texas; two brothers, Richard and his wife Cherlyn of Plainview, Nebraska, and Kenneth Hillrichs of Akron; brother-in-law, Edward Nelson of Des Moines; and many beloved nephews, nieces, cousins ​​and friends.

A funeral service to celebrate Marlin’s remarkable life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 28, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 22543 C16, in Akron, Iowa. A funeral service with military honors will be held immediately after at Riverside Cemetery in Akron.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the American Legion’s Albert E. Hoschler Post 186 or St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Preston Township. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rexwinkel Funeral Home in Akron. Memories and condolences can be shared at


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