Marlin Case, age 72, Fargo, ND, died Thursday, March 20, 2003, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Marlin, known to friends as ?Mars,? was born to Raymond and Norvella Case in New Underwood, SD, on October 4, 1930. He grew up and attended school in Gary, SD. As a teenager, Mars picked up a clarinet, sat down at a steel guitar and stood with a bass, quickly becoming proficient on all three.
He teamed up with his brother Darrell on trumpet, and the talented boys were soon in high demand with swing bands throughout the region.
Serving our country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, stationed on Okinawa, Mars met a yet-undiscovered singer named Mel Tillis. Together with fellow soldiers, the young musicians formed ?The Statesiders? to entertain troops and islanders alike.
After returning to the states, Mars married Judi Andersen in Rapid City, SD, and shortly after they moved to Sioux Falls. He continued his career in music as a professional performer. The 70s found him touring with the Reno-based Freddy Powers show, among other popular acts.
In the 80s, he returned to the Dakotas, making Fargo his home. Mars? contribution on bass and other instruments helped launch the area?s unique Bodie?s Dixieland Band. And for more than a decade, his unmatched steel guitar and clarinet skills gave flair to Fargo-Moorhead?s premier Western swing band, Old Friends.
In recent years, he gave inspiration to many at clubs and jams. Throughout his remarkable career, Mars shared the stage with stars such as Willie Nelson, Smiley Burnette, Pat Buttram, Minnie Pearl, Riders In The Sky, Box Car Willey, Red Steagall and Johnny Gimble.
But beyond bringing joy to countless people through his music, Mars was a much-loved father, grandfather and brother; a cherished friend; a musical mentor; a good neighbor and a faithful Christian. His song will play on in our hearts indefinitely.
He is survived by sons Mitchell, Fargo; Randy (Chris), Reno, NV; daughter Missy (James), Houston, TX; ex-wife Judi Johnson, Sioux Falls, SD; brother, Darrell (Agnes) Case, Moorhead; sister, Marlene Barney (Bill), Modesto, CA; three grandchildren; two step grandchildren; and many an old friend. He was preceded in death by his parents and long-time friend Virginia McMillin.
The funeral will be Wed, 10:30 a.m. at Boulger Funeral Home, 123 10th St. S., Fargo. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Memorials can be made to American Diabetes Foundation?s “Always and Forever” Honor Program (1-800-342-2383).
Arrangements by Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo. Online guestbook at www.boulgerfuneralhome.com.