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Marvin F. Grostic
June 16, 1926 ~ November 6, 2022 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Marvin died Sunday morning November 6, 2022 and joined his wife Catherine in their Heavenly home. He was born on June 16, 1926 in Webberville, MI to L. Ford and Agnes (Radford) Grostic. His family moved to Fowlerville and he attended the Fowlerville schools for his entire public school education. In high school he lettered in baseball, track, football, and basketball for three years. He was all conference in football and baseball. He won the State Class C 100 yd dash in 1944. In 1943 he attended a Brooklyn Dodgers training camp. As a boy scout, he served as an usher for The University of Michigan football games.
After graduating from High School, he was drafted by the Army, sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky for armored training and he attended OCS there. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and remained at Ft. Knox through VJ day before deployment to Japan for a year. Upon discharge he attended MSU for two years, transferred to Albion College and graduated in 1950 with a BA in chemistry. He was in the TKE fraternity at Albion, lettered in baseball, and was Captain and MVP his senior year. Years later he was inducted into the Albion College Athletic Hall of Fame.
While at Albion he met the former Catherine Hill, who was teaching in the Albion Public Schools. He met her at the movies and was soon smitten. Upon graduation he taught Jr High math and then married Catherine the next March, prior to being recalled into active duty during the Korean War. He was stationed in Aniston, AL in the Chemical Corps. Upon discharge Marv moved his young family to Kalamazoo, MI and began a career at The Upjohn Company (now Pfizer.)
After several years at The Upjohn Company and building their first of four houses in Kalamazoo, Marvin and Catherine moved their family of five to Moscow, ID. He returned to school at The University of Idaho and three years later earned his PhD in organic chemistry. Upjohn then supported his postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois in mass spectrometry. On Saturdays he enjoyed watching seniors Dick Butkus and Jim Grabowski play football.
He returned to the Upjohn Company to implement and manage the company’s first mass spectrometer department. He supported researchers and served on several product development teams to take products (Motrin, etc) to market. Marvin served as a committee chair for the USP, chaired the Kalamazoo section of the American Chemical Society, presented work at numerous conferences, and ended his career in management in quality control. He was honored by receiving the Upjohn Award.
After a fulfilling and stimulating career at Upjohn, Marvin retired and consulted at various pharmaceutical companies and later was Vice President of AvTech Labs. He was an avid learner at work, home, and church and enjoyed staying up to date on the latest technology.
He and Catherine enjoyed many years of travel, attending Elderhostels, service to their church, volunteering at Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, and spending winter months in Myrtle Beach. Marv enjoyed engaging with his church’s men’s group, attending musical and theatrical performances, and following Michigan football and Tigers baseball.
Family was the most important part of Marvin’s and Catherine’s lives. They never missed a family event with their children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, traveling around the country to watch athletic events, musical performances, or to simply have dinner. They retained programs, letters, cards, and nearly everything else they received from their family. They found something interesting and new to do every day. Some nights they would drive for hours and stop to hear live music in a park, watch hot air balloons in the sky, or have a meal. Catherine gifted Marvin a flight in a hot air balloon for his 90th birthday. They were joyfully married for 67 years before Catherine died in 2018.
Marvin was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Ione Simpson, Thelma Rossetter, Margaret Carol, and Bonnie Hotzapal; son, John M. Grostic and daughter, Pamela J. Buist. He is survived by his sister Ruth Krueger; daughter, Janyce (John) Huff; grandchildren, Christian Grostic, Benjamin (Jennifer) Grostic, Peter (Kathryn) Grostic, Michael (Nichole) Huff, Robert (Jessica) Huff and Catherine Buist; great-grandchildren, Avery and Maxwell Grostic, Lillian, Kara, and Iris Huff, Eleanor and Madelyn Grostic, Benjamin Huff, Wade Hanshue, and Sophia and Audrey Stein.
A memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Sunday December 4, 2022 at Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park Street, with Rev. Julie Kline officiating. Marvin's family will receive guests at the church following the service. Memorials may be directed to Albion College or Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church.