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Marlin Gulden

Marlin Gulden

April 16, 1932-Dec. 17, 2013

Marlin U. Gulden, 81, of Detroit Lakes, died Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at Essentia Health-St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes.

Marlin Gulden, the youngest of six sons of Oscar and Anna Fern (Farmer) Gulden, was born on April 16, 1932 in Montevideo. His gift of music was noticed early, and he was chosen to represent southern Minnesota in the FFA National Chorus while in high school.

He graduated from Montevideo High School. He then enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War.

He returned to Montevideo, where he met his future wife just days after his honorable discharge.

On June 12, 1955, Marlin was united in marriage to Shirley Hoff at the Grand Marias Church in East Grand Forks. He worked in lumber yards in Morris and Benson, before embarking on a career with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), where he started in Morris, then transferred to Detroit Lakes in November 1964.

He left state service for a while, working as a foreman for a road construction company, and then was president and part owner of Wadena-Staples Ready Mix. He returned to MnDOT, and retired from the Bemidji office in 1997.

Marlin was a very active member of Grace Lutheran Church. He served on the church council as well as on the property management committee many times, and sang in the church choir. He was also involved with many community activities, served as president of the Washington Elementary PTA, volunteered at the Becker County Food Pantry and Boys and Girls Club, and was a long time member of the VFW.

First and foremost, Marlin was a family man. He loved his wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He was a role model to his family by living a life of unfaltering faith. He believed in and emphasized the importance of hard work and honesty. He loved to sing, fix stuff, play board games and puzzles, watch sports, traffic and birds, and help others.

Surviving Marlin are his wife Shirley; three sons, Michael (Linda) Gulden of Bristow, Va., Jeffrey (Betsy) Gulden of Elk River and Daniel (Molly) Gulden of West River, Md.; one daughter, Karen (Thomas) DellaPaolera of Bemidji; one brother, Delos (Jean) Gulden of Montevideo; 12 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; other relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents, Marlin was preceded in death by four brothers, Stanley, Leroy, Daryl and Lyle.

Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 at Grace Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes, with Pastor Rob Nelson officiating.

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, with a 7 p.m. prayer service, at West-Kjos Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes.

Interment is in Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the West-Kjos Funeral Home of Detroit Lakes. Those wanting to share memories and condolences may use the guestbook section at