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Rev. Mauk received his calling from the 'Word of God'

April 22, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back - through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others - at a member of the community who died recently. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about the Rev. Marlin Wheeler Mauk, who died April 12 at the age of 69. His obituary appeared in the April 15 edition of The Herald-Mail.

With heart problems that were starting to affect his lifestyle, the Rev. Marlin Mauk once told his son-in-law, Rusty Meredith, that he wanted to pass away in a church.

On April 12, Marlin had just sat down between his wife and son after reading scriptures at the Thursday Bible study at the Boonsboro Family Worship Center when he collapsed.

Marlin was 69 years old when he got his wish.

Geraldine "Geri" Mauk, his wife of 51 years, said she and Marlin met when they were attending Boonsboro High School.

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"I guess it was love at first sight - we never dated anyone else for two years," Geri said. They were married in February 1956, just months before graduation.

Although always devout in his faith, Marlin first enlisted in the U.S. Navy before he joined God's army.

"I traveled with Marlin," Geri said. "Our first child, Michael, was born in French Morocco."

After returning to Maryland from Africa, Marlin ended his active Navy career. After several civilian jobs, Marlin began a 15-year career as a driver with UPS.

His CB handle was "The Lamplighter" because of his efforts to bring God's message to fellow truckers, said Tami Meredith, Marlin and Geri's oldest daughter.

Both Tami and Geri agreed that he couldn't help but share his faith in his daily life.

Even then, Marlin was aware that God was calling him, but he wasn't sure for what purpose.

"He thought it might be for missionary work, but that wasn't it," Geri said.

In the summer of 1977, Marlin finally made the decision to go into a full-time ministry despite his lack of formal education in the field.

"Marlin got his knowledge on his knees," Geri said. "It came from the Lord and the Word of God."

For 10 years, Marlin led the flock at the Zittlestown Assembly of God. Partly because of his health, Marlin retired in February 1990 and relocated to Florida.

"But the retirement didn't take," Geri said with a smile.

The Mauks first returned to the Millville (W.Va.) Pentecostal Church, then from 1995 to 1998, Marlin was associate pastor at the Boonsboro Family Worship Center.

His health again drove him to Florida, but Marlin continued to evangelize wherever he was.

"We had just moved back to Boonsboro on April 4 so Marlin could be associate pastor here again," Geri said as she sat in the sanctuary of the Boonsboro Family Worship Center with her family.

Throughout his life, Marlin always was proud of his family, which also included daughters Denise Eapen and Crystal Carter, and all of their families, children and grandchildren.

Denise recalls playing ball with her father and having him chide her for throwing like a girl.

"I'd say I am a girl," she said. "I was very proud of him ... we all were."

Rusty said that extended to in-laws.

"He always supported me in all I did," he said.

Crystal, who was the youngest of the four children, said she never could put one over on her father, though she admitted she did try.

"Once, I told dad that Duran Duran played Christian music, but then one day, he listened and that was that," she said.

"He was Pappy to me," said grandson Andrew, 15. "I liked going for ice cream with Pappy."

Twelve-year-old Michaela remembered an occasion when she was homesick and her Pap Pap sang and danced the cha-cha to keep her entertained.

"He was fun to have around," Michaela said.

Denise said her son, Seth, 11, called Pappy his best friend.

Looking back over Marlin's life, family members said he also was very proud of the people he influenced with his words and his faith.

"He led a man named Bill Taylor to the Lord," Rusty said. Taylor now is in the Philippines, where he has founded numerous churches and set up Bible schools and orphanages.

Michael said Bill Taylor also has a boat he uses to reach people in remote areas of the Philippines.

"Dad also influenced a lot of young pastors," Michael said. "He was the best."

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