Marlan Truelsen

Marlan Kenneth Truelsen

Wednesday, September 16th, 1936 - Sunday, November 17th, 2019
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Marlan Kenneth Truelsen, 83, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away in Milton, Florida on November 17, 2019. Born on his Methe grandparents’ farm in Mallard, Iowa, he grew up fishing with his grandpa, riding horses to herd cattle, and milking cows, even the morning after his high school prom still wearing his suit! During high school, in addition to working on the farm with his dad, he drove a pig truck, the school bus and played center on the Mallard football team.

Upon graduating from high school, Marlan joined the Navy to see the world and avoid the army draft. He chose to train as an electrician with the goal of being a chief petty officer in the Navy after meeting a chief aviation electrician. He found being an electrician had the added benefit of no KP (kitchen patrol) in the mess hall because there were always electrical things to fix. He trained as an aircraft electrician at Moffett Field in California and deployed as part of Squadron VA195 on a tour of the Far East on the CVA-10 USS Yorktown in 1956. Marlan visited Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Guam, Yokosuka, Japan and the South China Sea on the Yorktown.

Before being deployed to Midway Island, he married the love of his life, Jenese Miller, of Rodman, Iowa, thus fulfilling his high school boast to a friend at the skating rink that he was “going to marry that girl.”

Marlan retired as Chief Petty officer E-7 Aviation Electrician’s Mate after serving 23 years in the United States Navy. His duty stations included Gitmo Bay, Cuba; Jacksonville, Florida; Meridian, Mississippi; Milton, FL; Pensacola, Fl and aircraft carriers: USS Lexington out of Pensacola and USS John F. Kennedy out of Norfolk, Virginia. Aboard the USS John F. Kennedy CV-67, Marlan was awarded the Navy “E” ribbon, Battle Efficiency Ribbon. During his deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba he served as mayor of the Naval Base Civic council in 1967.

After retiring from the Navy in December 1978, Marlan continued to cruise but in the relative luxury of passenger cruise ships with Jenese. Their cruising included forty days around South America and thirty days from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Africa, ending in Athens, Greece. Several of his favorite shorter cruises were the 1,000 mile trip down the Amazon River, a coastal steamer down the coast of Norway and various Caribbean trips. Marlan and Jenese also traveled widely in a pickup camper, motorhome and by plane. Their longest motorhome trip after retirement was up the east coast to Newfoundland, Canada, then through Canada to Hudson Bay and west to the state of Washington before heading back home to Milton, Florida. Marlan and Jenese were involved with the Panhandle Winnies Winnebago RV club for over 20 years, serving as officers and Wagon Masters for many years. Other memorable trips included a mission trip to the Ukraine followed by a rail trip through Europe, riding an elephant through the jungle in Thailand and a boat down the river Kwae. Traveling with groups gave Marlan the opportunity to socialize and share stores with fellow travelers.

Marlan enjoyed work, often working a second job even while in the Navy. He maintained the laundromat on Midway Island. In Meridian, Mississippi he drove a truck after hours to refuel planes. After retiring from the Navy, Marlan worked as an electrician for Brewton Iron Works in Brewton, Alabama, for a year; and 13 ½ years at NAVDEP at Pensacola Naval Air Station. Fulfilling a childhood dream, he also earned his CDL (Commercial driver’s license) and drove a “big rig” cross country for Schneider Trucking for a short time. Marlan loved working on engines, maintaining his own vehicles, lawn tractors and other mechanical things. He even built his own chicken plucking machine. He also enjoyed reading, learning, investing and taking risks in the stock market, arguing and competing in everything from card games to stock cars. Together with some Navy buddies, he built and raced a stock car at the Five Flags speedway.

Marlan was always proud to have served in the military and continued his support of others who served through his 50 year membership in the Fleet Reserve Association where he also served as President of the Fleet Reserve Association, Branch 210, in Milton, Florida.

Marlan has always been an Iowa farm boy at heart. He and Jenese were married 61 years, 51 of those years on their 5 acre mini-farm in Milton, Florida, where Marlan planted a Spring and Fall garden every year and raised livestock. Over the years, he and Jenese raised a horse, calves, pigs, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, geese and chickens.

When asked his life priorities, Marlan said “God, family and country”. He grew up attending church and Saturday school at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mallard, Iowa, and accepted Christ as Savior at an early age. Over the years he spent many holidays with extended family in Iowa, often driving two days or more through summer sun, winter snow storm or blizzard to spend holidays on the farm with extended family. Marlan served as a deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Milton, feeling it was important to serve the church so that others would come to know Christ, particularly his family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lena and Kenneth Truelsen; his brother, John Truelsen; and his sister, Harriett Laws.

Marlan is survived by his wife, Jenese; his three daughters and their spouses, Jenet (Joe) Hattaway, Melinda Truelsen (fiancé David Brown), Cindy (Mark) Hood; his six grandchildren and spouses, David (Peanut) Hattaway, Laura (Trevor Thomas) Hattaway, Timothy (Erin) Smirniotis, Patricia (Stanley) Jackson, Chris Hood and Dustin Hood; his five great-grandchildren, Carter and Paislee Smirniotis, Andrew and Michael Hattaway and Stanley Carl Jackson; his sister Marlene, and brother-in-law Robert Joens, and his brother-in-law, Lonnie Laws.

Visitation begins at 2:30 p.m., on Wednesday, November 20th, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, (6659 Park Ave, Milton Florida), with funeral service at 4 p.m.; followed by a reception.

Interment will be in the Powhatan Cemetery in Plover, Iowa, Friday, December 6, 2019.

Lewis Funeral Home of Milton has been entrusted with arrangements.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 | 3:00pm - 4:00pm
    Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
    Westminster Presbyterian
    6659 Park Avenue
    MILTON, FL 32570
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 | 4:00pm
    Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 4:00pm
    Westminster Presbyterian
    6659 Park Avenue
    MILTON, FL 32570
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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