Obituary: Marvyn Kelsey, 80, Scottville.

June 2, 2016

Marvyn Douglas Kelsey, 80, of Scottville passed away on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 with his family by his side at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.  Marv, also known as “Honky the Clown” to many throughout the area, was born on July 3, 1935 in Bell Gardens, California, the son of Dr. Max G. and Alice M. (Bowman) Kelsey, and graduated from Gerrish-Higgins High School in Roscommon with the class of 1954.  Following graduation, Marv served his country with the US Army, stationed in Korea following the Korean Conflict.

On June 4, 1988 he married Arlene (Anthony) Bergeson, and they have celebrated 28 years together.  Marv worked 27 years for the Michigan Employment Security Commission, retiring in 1991.  He was very proud to serve his community, volunteering and serving on many boards, committees, clubs, and organizations.  He was presented with several awards and commendations for his efforts.

Marv loved entertaining as Honky the Clown and as Santa Claus, and as a Life Member of the Scottville Optimist Club, took its motto of “Friend of Youth” to heart, always looking for ways to help kids.  He organized and ran the Scottville Optimist Teen dances for over 30 years, helped with Special Olympics, numerous sporting events, Boy Scouts, bike rodeos, and many more. Marv also collected hundreds of “treasures” and could be referred to as one of the original American Pickers, always, buying and trading collectables.  His greatest accomplishment was the love he had for his family and spending time with them.

Marv will be greatly missed by his wife Arlene, their children Tim Kelsey, Scott (Helen) Kelsey, Rick (Karen) Larson, Gloria (John) Beckman, Jennifer (Matt) McMellen, and Josette (John) Waite; his grandchildren Kaden “Timothy” Kelsey, David Vodvarka, Dylan, Ashley, and Stefanie Kelsey, Matthew Larson, Jason (JoAnn) Larson, Anthony (Amy) Larson, Nathan (Yuka) Larson, Erin (Stacey) Swiatlowski, Kendra Beckman, Trina Cambridge, Alyssa (Usman) Sheikh, Aleece (Colton) Gregory, Alexa McMellen, and David Waite; his great-grandchildren Kadence Vodvarka, Raelyn and Milli Flores, Gabriel Hernandez, Bella Neutzman, Aria Michael, Aleemah and Suleiman Sheikh, Zoe, Jason Jr, Gavyn, Sophia, Alexander, and Matthew Larson, Ara Swiatlowski, Ariana and Zachariah Larson, Lyla and Liam Gregory.

A Celebration of Marv’s Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 8 at Wyman Funeral & Cremation Services – Stephens Funeral Home in Scottville.  Friends may gather with his family for a time of visitation on Tuesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and on Wednesday morning from 10 a.m. until time of services at the funeral home.  Those who wish to remember Marv with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Scottville Optimist Club.

Please visit Marv’s personal memory page at to leave a tribute for his family or to light a candle in his memory.

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