Betty Marvin

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Betty Jane Marvin, a former Kankakee area resident, met our Savior on Saturday (Oct. 10, 2020) after a brief illness. She was 83 years old and resided in Arlington, Texas.

Betty was born May 24, 1937, in Elkhart, Ind., the daughter of John J. and Esther (Friesner) Mishler. Betty was the wife of Pastor John Marvin. He preceded her in death in 2016.

She is the mother of four children, Dan Marvin, of Reston, Va., Dr. Joy Marvin, of Scottsdale, Ariz., Ted Marvin, of Kankakee, and Tod Marvin, of Austin, Texas. Betty is survived by her four children, daughters-in-law, Kim Marvin and Corinne Marvin; son-in-law, James Szymanski; six grandchildren and spouses, Eric and Amanda Marvin, Stephen and Alyssa Marvin Hobbs, Michael and Abigail Marvin Ord, Alan Marvin, Sutton Marvin and Payton Marvin; and two great-grandchildren, Emma and Maddie Marvin. Also surviving are one brother, Robert Mishler, and sister-in-law, Mary Mishler, both of Fort Wayne, Ind.

Betty’s greatest love was serving Jesus and she did that for her entire life even up to a few weeks before her death.

She and John were married July 7, 1957, in Shipshewana, Ind., and they began their ministry immediately.

After serving in churches in Jackson, Miss., and Wakarusa, Ind., Betty and her husband served at Grace Baptist Church and Grace Baptist Academy in Kankakee for 44 years until their retirement in 2008.

Betty was instrumental alongside her husband, John, in starting Grace Baptist Academy now Grace Christian Academy. For many years, Betty taught music K-12, including chorus and band, produced and directed numerous elementary and high school musicals and programs, and taught the senior Bible class. She was described as having such a great influence in the lives of hundreds of students that went to GCA.

“Never has there ever been another pastor’s wife like Betty” is something that was often said about Betty Marvin. And what a true statement that was. She loved inviting people into her home and cooking for them. She loved taking meals to families, picking up kids for church, driving a bus for many activities, leading junior high vacation Bible school, going to GBC summer camp year after year and heading up the kitchen with her famous cinnamon rolls, playing the piano and the organ, singing in the choir, leading women’s ministries, working in the youth group up until she retired, and even after she retired. Anyone who knew Betty, knew she was always going and serving. And this she did because of her love for ministry and our Savior.

John and Betty’s life verse was Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

After John’s death, Betty still felt the leading to be in ministry by occasionally teaching Bible study on Sundays. She was also active in women’s Bible studies, sang in the choir, visited widows at home and mentored international college students.

In July of 2019, at the age of 82, Betty left Arlington, Texas, to move to Seattle, Wash., for a year to serve on a church planting team from her then-local church, Fielder Church in Arlington, Texas. Betty was a vital part of that ministry, including working with seniors and families and helping with the launch of Discovery Church, Seattle.

Betty’s love for our Savior was always evident in her life. If an individual had the privilege of knowing Betty for any length of time, then they knew of her love for Jesus. She was memorizing and quoting scripture up until a few days before her death. One of her very favorite sayings from an old hymn was, “Ponder anew what the almighty can do.”

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Grace Baptist Church in the GCA Marvin Center. An additional time for visitation will be from 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, until the 2 p.m. funeral service at Grace Baptist Church, 2499 Waldron Road, Kankakee.

Please wear a face mask and practice social distancing guidelines.

Livestreaming of the service can be viewed online at

Memorial gifts in memory of Betty Marvin may be given to the Grace Christian Academy Music Department online at, or to Discovery Church, Seattle, Wash. online at

Funeral arrangements are by Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home in Bourbonnais.

Please sign her online guestbook at

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