Marvin and his twin sister Marceille were born at the Tushla Hospital in Auburn on July 31, 1932 to D.J. and Freda (Antholz) Caspers. They were baptized by Pastor Wm Frueling on October 13, 1932 at Martin Luther Church. Both were confirmed into the Lutheran faith on November 25, 1945 at St. John’s Lutheran Church by Pastor G.K. Wienke.
Marvin attended Happy Valley Nemaha County School District No.72 through the eighth grade. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1950. Growing up, Marvin helped his dad farm, fix things, and care for the livestock; sometimes needing to skip school when the farm needed his help. Marceille would bring the school work home for Marvin to complete at night, and return it in the morning.
Marv was in the US Naval Air Reserves for eight years from 1952-1960, with active duty from 1953-54. During his active duty time he worked on aircraft hydraulics, welded, and trained as an airplane right seat observer.
On September 14, 1958 Marvin married Blanche Gauchat at St. John’s Lutheran Church. They lived by Tecumseh and Marvin continued farming and raising livestock. Marvin and Blanche lost their first daughter, Luann Marie, shortly after birth in 1960. In 1961 they moved to the Auburn area and continued the farming and raising of livestock. In 1963 their son Mark was born. In 1964 Marvin and Blanche moved to the home place when D.J. and Freda moved to Johnson. Daughter Arlis was was born in 1964. In 1971 Marvin & Blanche purchased the home place and lived there for a total of 54 years.
In 1951 Marvin began working in the auction business training with Colonel John Aufenkamp. While still farming and raising livestock, he worked auctions, at sale barns, and studied with mentor Ada Crooker for the Real Estate Broker License. In 1960 he took the test and received his Real Estate Broker license. He continued in the farming, auction, real estate, and appraisal business until 2017. Marvin and his brother LaVerne formed Caspers Brothers Auctioneers in the early 1960’s and did auctions all over Southeast Nebraska, working together wonderfully as a brother team. Over the years Marv sold at many fundraiser auctions as a service to his community. Marvin was proud to have completed Appraisal Institute Coursework at University of Missouri in 1966. He continued his education and graduated from the Certified Auctioneers Institute at the University of Indiana in 1978. He was the first auctioneer in the state of Nebraska to achieve this designation. In 1980 son Mark joined Marvin in the auction business and they worked together for 37 years. In March 2017 Marvin sold for almost four hours at an auction, while Mark took bids and they enjoyed every minute of working together. Marvin recalled some highlights of his career were selling at the Texas Livestock Show in 1985, working at four area livestock barns over the years, and helping organize or sell at many machinery consignment auctions.
In addition to auctioneering together, Marvin and Mark farmed together for the past 40 years. They sold many farms and did appraisals as part of their Caspers Real Estate & Auction business.
Over the years Marvin was active in many associations and groups. He served as Commander of the American Legion Post #23 three times, President of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, President of the Auburn Kiwanis Club, President of the Boosters Club, President of the Rural Fire District, member of the Auburn Eagles, member of the Jaycee’s, on the Johnson-Brock School Board, and on the Nemaha County ASC. Marvin was a member of the Nemaha Valley Lodge #4 and also a Shriner. St. John’s Stone Church was very important to him and he served on the church council and cemetery board. He helped start the Old Stone Church Preservation Foundation and remained chairman of that group until his death. He also served on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Johnson for 42 years and was a member at the time of his death. Marvin was named Outstanding Young Farmer in Nemaha County in 1968 by the Auburn JC’s. He served as president of the Nebraska Auctioneer Association in 1983-84 and in 2015 he was inducted into Nebraska Auctioneers Hall of Fame. A proud moment for the entire Caspers family was when Marvin, Blanche, and Mark received the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award in 2016 for 100 years of continuous ownership in the same family.
Marvin loved his grandchildren very much. He spent countless hours with them, at either the farm or on “sleepovers” to their house in Papillion. Many trips were made by Grandpa & Grandma over the years to Papillion so they could see the kids or bring them to the farm. He loved to see them drive the little red tractor and the Polaris at the farm. Over the years he taught the grandchildren many short quotes to live their life by, some of which are listed at the end of the obituary.
Marvin passed away at 10:54 pm on April 22, 2018 at the age of 85. He fought a long, hard battle with cancer. His strength, courage, and faith through the battle were an example for anyone around him.
He was preceeded in death by infant daughter Luann Marie; brother LaVerne (Ellenora & Leona) Caspers; sisters Irene (Elmer) Beethe, Marceille (Gary) Habegger, Opal (Albert) Jurgensmeier, Darlene (Bill) Hafermann, Lola (Leland) Heidemann.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Blanche; son Mark; daughter Arlis (Mike) Scanlan; grandchildren Benjamin, Mitchell, Kathryn, and Claire Scanlan; brother Eugene (Elsie) Caspers; brothers-in-law Fred (Marcia) Gauchat and Ed Gauchat; many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. Marvin was someone who really knew how to build relationships with people. He is survived by friends all over Southeast Nebraska, across Nebraska, and many other states.
Marvin’s Favorite Quotes:
- Good, Better, Best, never let it rest until the Good is Better and the Better is Best.
- Plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land, but it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand.
- Progress involves risk, you can’t steal second with your foot still on first.
- I have never met a strong person that had an easy past.
- The road to success is always under construction.
- In the end it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.
- Be sure you put your foot in the right place, then stand firm.
Marvin’s Life Model He Lived By
(found in a notebook from a speech Marvin wrote for his induction to the Nebraska Auctioneer Hall of Fame)
Ambition Creates Success. Ambition doesn’t clock out at 5 pm. But ambition can’t do it alone. It needs determination, hard work, and some help along the way. Ambition doesn’t roll over and give up. It knows how to get the job done.
It’s what helped me build my farming operation, real estate, auction, and appraisal business from nothing but a dream, into what it is now. All with the help of my family, that made it possible to accomplish my dream.
My ambition has always been to build the best possible future for my family. A special thank you to all who helped me along the way to accomplish my dream. - Marvin
Memorials suggested to St. John Lutheran (Stone) Church Foundation.