Marvin H. Mischnick
1919 - 2018
Marvin H. Mischnick

Marvin H. Mischnick, age 99, a resident of Elmhurst for 55 years, and previously of Maywood for 44 years where he was born on February 16th of the year 1919.

He attended and graduated from Irving Elementary School in the class of 1932, and Proviso Township High School (East) class of 1937. Marvin survived the tornado of 1920 that passed through Maywood and Melrose Park. He was a veteran of World War II and a life member of the Winfield Scott V.F.W. Post 2193 of Maywood and Melrose Park, Central Leyden Post 5979 River Grove, the 3rd Armored Division Associates, Veterans Of The Battle Of The Bulge Association and the American Legion.

He was preceeded in death by his mother, Margaret Frega Mischnick; his father, Herman (Harry) Mischnick; his brother, LaVerne Harris Mischnick; and his wife, Elaine Boettcher Mischnick.

He is survived by a few cousins, and a few sister-in-laws, a brother-in-law, a nephew and niece, three great-nieces, and one great-nephew.

Marvin was the first to take candid pictures of wedding, and the first to photograph kids on Santa Claus's lap in the Department stores. During his life he saw the advance of Radio, and the automobile, the dirigible, and the two-winged bi-plane developed into the one-winged mono-plane, and the auto-gyro in 1925 which was the fore-runner of the Helicoptor.

He was 8 years old when Charles A. Lindbergh made his trans-atlantic solo flight from New York to Paris, France in 1927 and became known as "The Lone Eagle". And before that well-known flight, Lindbergh flew the air mail from St. Louis to Chicago in 1926, and used "Checkerboard Field" in Maywood just about a mile and a half from where Marvin lived. Marvin also remembers Will Rogers and Wiley Post's air crash in Point Barrow, Alaska. Marvin lived during the life of Willis Haviland Carrier, the inventor of air conditioning, and during the lives of the great minds of Marie Currie, General Billy Mitchell, Albert Einstein, Philo Farnsworth, Lee DeForest, the famous artist Pierre Auguste Renoir, the great singers Mario Lanze, Nelson Eddy, and Jusse Boerling.

Other people of importance during Marvin's time were Thomas Alva Edison, Henry Ford, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DeMaggio, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Buster Crabbe, Johnny Weismuller, Bronko Negurski, Harry Houdini, the gifted prophet Edgar Cayee, Christy Mathewson, Alexander Graham Bell, and Jim Thorpe, Jesse Owens, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Dwight D. Eisenhowers, and the Wright Brothers in events of the times.

He saw the great dirigible Graf Zeppelin about in the year 1931 on its "around-the-world" flight as it passed through the Chicago area. He knew of the Hinderburg Zeppelin 1936 and of its later disaster, as well as the (MAKON) and the (AKRON), to american dirigible. Great ships that are no more. Other great ships of his time were the ocean liners (Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, The Normandy, and the Queen Elizabeth II). He lived the during the time when John Dillinger was killed. And Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde. During the lives of authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Ernest Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway was born just three miles away from where Marvin was born), and our war heroes, Alvin York and Audy Murphy. Marvin's early childhood was also during the time of the discovery of King Tut's Tomb in 1922, in the time of the Great World's Fair in 1933 in Chicago, and during the time of the invention of Television, the adaptation of sound and Technicolor in motion picture films, and speaking of motion pictures, he saw the first Mickey Mouse animated cartoon (Steamboat Willie). Things of notable fame, during his time were the baseball players, Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, (also known as the "Sultan of Swat", or "The Bambino"), and Marvin personally knew the great football player, Harold "Red" Grange, "The Galloping Ghost".

Among other important facts and events of his time were the development of Radar and Sonar, and the Jet Engine, the assignation of President John F. Kennedy, the rise and fall the German Third Reich in Europe and also of the Soviet Union and the construction of the Euro Tunnel under the English Channel between England and France. He saw the Hale Bopp Comet and a few eclipses of the sun and the moon, the invention of the computer, the Hoover craft, the amphibious jeep, the Jet plane, communication satellites, Enrico Fermi's achievement of the first nuclear chain reaction to result in the first man made atomic explosion, in the Hydrogen Bomb, the atomic powered submarines, the first human being from planet Earth to land on the moon and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II on December 7, 1941.

At that time Marvin was already in the army, and it resulted in his serving four and a half years with the 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division. He participated in the greatest invasion in military history and landed at "Omaha Beach" in Normandy, France on D Day plus 18, for invasion of Fortress Europe for the liberation of France and Belgium, and the capture and occupation of Germany after the defeat of the Nazi's. He served as the Division photographer in the G-2 intelligence section of the forward echelon, in the 23rd Armored Engineers Battalion in the U.S. First Army, of World War II.

He was awarded five battles stars for the European Theatre Medal, the presidential citation with two Oak Leaf clusters, the American Theatre Medal, the American Defense Medal, the Conduct Medal, the Victory Medal and the Germany Occupation Medal and French and Belgium decorations, and was proud to have served under the leadership of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was honored to have photographed many famous or well known celebrities and dignitaries such as President Harry S. Truman, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Omar N. Bradley, Admiral Richard E. Byrd, General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, Englands Duke of Gloucester, the assistant Secretary of War Robert L. Patterson, General Joseph L. "Lightning Joe" Collins, General Courtney H. Hodges, Joe Louis, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Jack Benny, and many, many other celebrities.

Marvin also has some of his work, and a story of some of his experiences during World War II, on the internet website address as he served with the third Armored Division that was the Spearhead of all the allied armies on the western front, in the first unit to breach the Ziegfried Line. The unit that captured the city of Cologne, Germany, and the Nazi Armored Force Headquarters at Paderborn Germany, and the liberation of the concentration camps "Dora" at Nordhausen, Germany, and the Spearhead division advanced all the way to the Elbe River at Dessau, Germany to where the U.S. first army met the Russians coming from the east. He was also a charter member of the national World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.

Marvin loved good music. The music and songs of the 1930's and 1940's and the early 1950's. The music of the big dance bands, and their singers who sang words that were understandable. Not the blaring noise and screaming gibberish that they call music today. Marvin was once told by a relative that he was on the family tree of Johann Straus. We don't know if that is true or not. But it might be that is why he loved good music. He played the harmonica, and with two other harmonica players in high school, they started the trio of "THE HARMONICRATS". A year or two later some other group became professionally popular called themselves the "THE HARMONICATS".

Marvin was also a movie buff. He admired the great film actors like Gary Cooper, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, George Sanders, James Mason, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, James Cagney. Some of his photographs were published in the local Elmhurst newspapers several years ago. Also in the book "SPEARHEAD IN THE WEST" which is the history of the Third Armored Division of the U.S. Army in World War II. And also in the book "DEATH TRAPS" by Belton W. Cooper.

In Marvin's teenage years he was interested in a few athletics, and quite good in some of them. He was a wrestler in high school, and also a weight lifter in the YMCA after graduation from high school. Also a good ice hockey player. But his man sports-love was baseball and soft ball. In baseball, he was a hot third baseman and a home run hitter. And in softball, he was just a very good third baseman on the old (Hot Corner). But the one thing he liked to remember while he was in his eighties and ninties was his memories of all his old school chums and friends, and class mates, and acquaintances of his childhood and teenage years. He could still name every one of them. All of the things that were mentioned in the above obituary were very important to the memories of his life.

Visitation at Ahlgrim Funeral Home, 567 S. Spring Rd., Elmhurst from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. Thursday, March 1, 2018. Interment Elm Lawn Cemetery.

Info 630-834-3515 or

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Published by Suburban Life Publications on Mar. 2, 2018.
9:00a.m. - 11:00a.m.
Ahlgrim Funeral Home
567 S. Spring Rd., Elmhurst, IL
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We have never met Marvin in person. Our contact with him started when we translated correspondence from French to English from a Belgian woman who met Marvin as a teenager in 1944. The penpal relation between them lasted until her death several years ago. We then kept the contact with Marvin until now through Christmas cards and sending him booklets andf information related to commemorations of the 2nd Worldward in Belgium and in France

With deepest regrets to his passing away

Andrée and Gerald RACZ
March 5, 2018
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