By Michael Sutherlin
MARVIN FOSTER SUTHERLIN
9/22/1929, Sierra Blanca, TX
9/4/2007, Grants, NM
77 years old
Born as twins
Marvin and Margaret, to Grover and Elsie Sutherlin.
Raised in West Texas, around El Paso. Father was a rancher, mother was a teacher. The youngest of three brothers and two sisters.
As a “south-paw”
Marvin mastered football, basketball, tennis, baseball, fishing, drill rigs, mechanics, and welding. His handwriting was “none-too- pretty”, though. He had a big heart, a very pleasant smile, and his dry humor was quick and witty.
As a husband and a father
of three boys and two girls, he taught the ethics of hard work, dedication, sincerity, and honesty.
His work and his family were his life. Marvin and Joyce married in 1948, and raised five children:
Dollie Jean, a mom and Home Schooler. Michael Keith, a father, Shop Teacher, Investigator and Machine operator. Gary Mack, a father and Navy Chief officer- retired. Betty Michelle, a wife and an Executive Secretary and Gregory Foster, a father and an active Navy Master Chief (Gregory Foster) .....all dedicated family members and Christians
Marvin has a rich ancestry:
The Sutherland (spelling) Clan immigrated to America in 1654 from Scotland and settled New Kent County, VA. Fendel Sutherlin, Indiana, braved the Oregon Trail and settled Sutherlin, Oregon, 1851. George Sutherland V, (Cinco) served as a Texican. His son, William , and brother, John (a physician), were
Defenders of The Alamo, 1836. William was killed and burned, there, defending the Alamo. Confederate Major William T. Sutherlin, of Danville, VA provided safe-shelter to President Jefferson Davis before
Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered, April 3-April 10, 1865. Urilla Sutherland married Wyatt Earp, Jan 10, 1870. She died later that year, childbirth.
Dickie Harrell Professional Drag Racing:
Marvin’s drilling buddy, Bill Allen, introduced him to Dickie Harrell in the early 60’s. Bill and Martha Allen were High School buddies with Dickie and Elaine. Bill and Dickie had “twin Chevy’s” which they raced. Marvin’s garage, in Carlsbad, was well equipped and provided a “safe-haven” for them to test and tune. Many a wrench was turned in that small back-yard shop, and many a late night test runs were done, under the cloak of darkness, on Stand-Pipe Road.
Notables include Bill Allen, Kelly Chadwick, Mack Medley, Buddy Rice, Gary Wise, Jim Elgan, Larry Morrison, Ray Brooks, and many others.