Cover photo for Colonel Marvin A. Mollnow's Obituary
Colonel Marvin A. Mollnow Profile Photo
1928 Colonel Marvin 2023

Colonel Marvin A. Mollnow

September 23, 1928 — January 13, 2023

Colonel Marvin Albert Mollnow peacefully passed away, January 13, 2023 at his home in Green Cove Springs, Florida, surrounded by his loving family. He was born, September 23, 1928, in Silver Creek, New York. The following year, his mother died unexpectedly and he, and his sister Trudy, moved to Jacksonville, Florida, to live with their Aunt Helen and Uncle Frank Merrill. Marvin attended Fletcher High School, where he was captain of the football team and excelled on the track team, as a hurdler and sprinter. On an ROTC scholarship, he attended Georgia Military College, where he was the Guidon Bearer for his unit. He also played football, ran track, played baseball and tennis. Following graduation, he continued with his ROTC scholarship at the University of Florida, where he played center for the Gators and pledged ATO. He continued his education at Florida State University, where he remained an ATO and embraced fraternity life. ROTC kept him busy with classes, drills and marching. He continued football, playing center and linebacker, as well as track, earning several AAU medals. At his graduation in 1954, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in The United States Air Force and reported for duty at Ellington AFB, Houston, Texas. Three months later, he married his college sweetheart, Dorothy Sheftall, in Atlanta, Georgia. They settled in Houston for 1 year, then on to Topeka, Kansas, where he was stationed at Forbes AFB. Soon, they would add two sons to their family, Marvin Jr. and Kurt. Marvin’s natural leadership skills helped move him, rapidly, through many levels of duty and responsibility. Within 6 years, he was assigned to the prestigious Strategic Air Command, as a navigator. The escalating tensions, of the Cold War, placed him on many hazardous missions, some very near the coast of Russia. In 1965, one such mission involved a hailstorm of artillery fire, from the Soviets. For this, he was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross for “extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight.” TDYs took him to many places in Europe, the Middle East and Western Asia. For three years, he and his family lived in Okinawa, Japan while he was stationed at Kadena AFB. Dorothy managed the Military Wives Travel Club, and the family enjoyed many trips around the Asian continent. From Japan, Marvin and his family made their final military move to Omaha, Nebraska where he would be stationed at Offutt AFB, home of the Strategic Air Command. In 1974, Marvin retired from the Air Force with the rank of Bird Colonel after 20 years of service, logging over 10,000 hours flying time, as well as numerous medals, awards, and commendations. In August 1974, Marvin began another 20-year career as educator and coach, at Orange Park High School. He taught Driver Education and coached football, wrestling, cross-country and track. With 2 sons on the wrestling team, the family’s spare time revolved around practices and meets. During this time, he established Boy Scout Troop #20 in Orange Park. Being Scoutmaster, coach and teacher kept him very busy. He loved playing golf, as well as watching all the big tournaments, on television. For about 15 years, he volunteered at The Player’s Championship at Sawgrass. He began running and became active in the Florida Striders and the Jacksonville Track Club, serving on the board of both. He also served as Race Director of several large runs in Orange Park and Jacksonville. In 1987, Marvin married Cindy Kline. Running, travel, history, Jacksonville Symphony, Florida State football, whitewater rafting and, eventually, Jacksonville Jaguars, filled their time, when not working. Marvin ran 27 marathons and hundreds of road races, after the age of 56. He ran The Boston Marathon 5 times, The New York City Marathon, and The Marine Corp Marathon 4 times each, as well as many others. He enjoyed meeting up with Air Force friends at all the 55th Wing and Combat Apple reunions. In 1998, son Spencer was born and life became very busy. He cherished his time with his mini-me. Getting an RV made trips much easier. They traveled extensively visiting many National Parks, National Battlefield Parks, historical places and much of Canada. As with his older sons, he was actively involved with Spencer’s sports and his scouting, from cub scouts, through Boy Scouts and the Order of the Arrow. Marvin lived a very long life, blessed with many layers. He strived to be his best in all aspects of his life: family, friends, career, sports, adventures, challenges, as well as setbacks. He lived life to the fullest, always with a positive attitude. He was our Warrior and we will miss him dearly. Marvin is survived by his wife Cindy, of 35 years; three sons: Marvin Jr, Kurt and Spencer; grandchildren: Luke, Blake, Taylor, Addison and Grant; great-grandson Drake and, arriving in April 2023, a great-granddaughter; sister, Gertrude (Trudy) Bjorling; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dwight and Leslie Sheftall. Marvin was predeceased by his 2 older brothers, Chester (Chet) and Richard Mollnow and brother-in-law Carl Bjorling. Marvin’s Celebration of Life will be March 26, 1– 4pm, at Club Continental, 2143 Astor Street, Orange Park, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following: Boy Scout Troop #309, Scoutmaster Martin Lutcher, C/O Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 7190 Highway 17, Fleming Island, FL 32003 Clay County Fire Rescue #20, 303 South Oakridge Avenue, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043 Community Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville FL 32257 Our family would like to convey our heartfelt thanks to the following for their tremendous support and care for Marvin, and our family: CNAs Tammy Guertin, Tony Ngondi, Claudette Abaze and Dora Anderson, your kind and loving care is much appreciated; rescue personnel of Clay County Fire Rescue Station #20, we are grateful for your help and attentiveness; VA Home Based Primary Care, thank you for all you do for ALL Disabled Veterans; Community Hospice, thank you for your constant support and comfort.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Colonel Marvin A. Mollnow, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, March 26, 2023

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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