Marvin Allyn Smith, 70, of Bryant, AR, was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on January 11, 2007, after a two year battle with cancer. He had previously resided in San Antonio, TX, until June 2006.
Marvin was born on August 27, 1936, to Verle and Alma Mae Smith in Chickasha, Oklahoma, as their first born child. Marvin was always extremely gifted academically and ranked at the top of his class when he graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa. He then graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in electrical engineering in 1959. Marvin entered the Navy as an officer in 1960 and became a radar officer on the U.S.S Wasp aircraft carrier (CVS-18). He was honorably discharged from active duty in March 1964.
At that time, he felt the Lord calling him into full-time Christian ministry, and he joined the staff of the Navigators in 1964. Marvin felt a calling to missions and spent a total of 14 years as a missionary overseas in the countries of New Zealand, Australia, Kenya, and Ghana with the Navigatorsí ministry. Marvin met his wife Georgette through the Navigators, and she joined him in mission work while raising their three children overseas on the mission field. His life goal was to reach people with the gospel of Christ, and he always followed the Lordís call on his life with faith and a willingness to go anywhere the Lord led him.
Marvin and Georgette returned to the United States where Marvin earned a Masterís degree in Missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, in 1983. Their next move was to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where Marvin acted as Director of Missions for the Navigators at their headquarters at Glen Eyrie until 1993.
God continued to direct Marvinís commitment to ministry by calling him to leave the Navigators in 1993 after 29 years of service to become the Missionís Pastor of Wayside Chapel in San Antonio, TX. Marvin faithfully served there until his retirement in 2005.
Marvin was diagnosed with kidney cancer in December 2004, and he aggressively fought the disease for two years with unwavering faith in Godís sovereign will for his life. He remained a courageous missionary, loving husband and father, adoring grandfather, loyal friend, wise counselor, faithful mentor, and OSU Cowboy fan until the end. Marvinís life exemplified 2 Timothy 4: 7-8: ďI have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day.Ē
Marvin is survived by his wife Georgette Smith whom he married in 1966; daughter Michelle Cearley and son-in-law Stuart Cearley of Cabot, AR; son Asher Woolverton of Broomfield, CO; daughter Melody Pengelly and son-in-law Lee Pengelly of Alexander, AR; grandchildren Owen and Hudson Cearley and Ella Pengelly; father Verle Smith of Edmond, OK; brother Glen Smith of Edmond, OK; and sister Marilyn Carter of Broken Arrow, OK. He was preceded in death by his mother Alma Mae Smith.
The Smith family is thankful for the outpouring of love and support from their church family at Wayside Chapel and their many friends around the world. They request your continued prayers for comfort, wisdom, and peace during this time. A graveside service for family will be held at Pinecrest Memorial Park in Alexander, AR, on Monday, January 15, 2007. A public memorial service to celebrate Marvinís life and legacy will be held at Wayside Chapel, San Antonio, TX, on Friday, January 19, 2007, at 2 P.M. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made in Marvinís honor to Shepherdsí Support Inc. at www.shepherdssupport.org or 755 E. Mulberry, Suite 600, San Antonio, TX 78212.