Industry Legend Bill Marvin Passes Away

August 31, 2009

Dealers of the Year 2008 logoWilliam S. “Bill” Marvin, who led the growth of Marvin Windows & Doors from a regional lumber company to a leading manufacturer, died August 31, 2009, at his home in Warroad, Minn., surrounded by his family. Most recently serving as honorary chairman of the company, he was 92 years old.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Marvin worked briefly for General Mills before returning to Warroad in 1939 at the request of his father. He joined the Marvin Lumber & Cedar Co. as its eighth employee. Not long after his return, the company began building custom wood window and door frames to keep the company busy during the winter season.

Marvin later pushed to expand the offering to complete windows and doors and led the evolution of the company to become a made-to-order window and door manufacturer. He assumed the company’s presidency and chairmanship in 1960. Under his leadership, the company grew every year except 1961, when the Warroad factory burned to the ground.

Bill was widely recognized for his multitude of business and civic contributions. He was inducted to the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, Twin Cities Business magazine’s 2007 Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, received the Distinguished Minnesotan Award from Bemidji State University and was named to Builder magazine’s 100 most influential building industry leaders of the 20th century.

Bill Marvin was a past president of the National Wood Window & Door Association, and a member of the organization, now the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, for 45 years. He was involved in the Northwestern Minnesota Manufacturing Association and served as the director of the National Woodwork Manufacturers Association from 1979 to 1981. Along with his involvement in these industry organizations, he also devoted much of his time to community organizations.  He served as a member of the Warroad Hospital Board for more than 30 years and volunteered his time and services to the Warroad Fire Department.  He and his wife also recently endowed a $15 million scholarship fund to benefit graduates of Warroad High School seeking higher education.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, September 4, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at the Warroad High School Gymnasium.