Rural 03

Marlin Clark Vanrobaeys

December 1, 1955 ~ June 4, 2021 (age 65)


In Loving Memory of 
Marlin C. 

December 1, 1955 ~ June 4, 2021


Marlin Clark Vanrobaeys was the fifth son born to Maurice and Dorothy (Innes) Vanrobaeys on December 1, 1955. Marlin was a caring husband, father, grandfather and friend, cherishing his family and friends above all else. He was tragically taken from our world on June 4, 2021 at age 65.

Marlin had a big soft heart and is remembered for his quick smile, sparkling eyes, and mischievous actions. After his love for family, and Willie Nelson music, he was most happy when hanging out with his daughter Michelle and grandson Van, working with horses, boating on a lake, or playing hockey. Like the rest of his family, he was a fierce competitor regardless if it was a card game with the kids or a playoff hockey game. If he couldn’t do something well, he didn’t do it at all. He loved being at “the lake”. Anyone who spent time at the Y-point beach will recall him teaching Barb how to drive the boat by yelling out commands while skiing behind and then being mad when she dumped him. His technique for teaching kids how to ski was slightly better, but they happily learned. He really enjoyed playing ball but his favourite sport was hockey. He liked nothing better than to play weekend tournaments with his brothers, cousins, nephews and friends. Lately it really didn’t matter if it was shinny on Pelican Lake, shooting pucks with his grandson in the basement, Puckhead hockey in Arizona, Meathead hockey with the Toledo crew or Sunday mornings with the Swaybacks in Morden. The last few Swayback games were extra special for him as he got to play with his nephew Jason and great nephew Owen. He came home with that great big smile telling Barb how much fun it was to play with those two. Hockey for him was always about the fun with the guys, but he could play the game pretty good too. He played with lots of teams in different leagues throughout the years with just some being - MJHL 1971-76 Winnipeg Monarchs and the Selkirk Steelers; WCHL 1975-76 Winnipeg Clubs; CSHL 1977-78 EK-Elmwood Millionaires, St Boniface Mohawks and Steinbach Huskies; SEMHL 1978-90 Morden Bombers and 1992-95 with the Morden Redskins. Many forever friendships were forged through the game along with accomplishments. He was part of the Selkirk Steeler team that won the Centennial Cup in the 1973-74 season subsequently being inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, and Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, he played with the Steinbach Huskies in the Allan Cup finals in 1979 and went on to play 12 seasons with the Morden Bombers. Over those seasons, he was a nine time SEMHL All Star, two time league MVP and league champion (1978-79 and 1981-82). Finishing his career as the second leading scorer in SEMHL history, his 864 career points in only 363 games included 318 goals and 546 assists. His 93 points in 1981-82 are the fifth highest total in league history.

Beyond the sports there was his love of country music and in particular Willie Nelson. Marlin was beyond excited to see Willie play live and many a concert was attended with family and friends. Marlin could not hold a tune or dance a step, but he was so looking forward to hearing his musical grandson play some Willie tunes on his “Willie Nelson” guitar.

Marlin was born in Deloraine, MB and moved with his family to Virden, McCreary, Kelwood and Killarney. He spent a year living in Deloraine with his Aunt Moi and Uncle Doc Bonar when he was about eight. The whole family landed in Cartwright, MB in 1965. There are lots of entertaining stories from his growing up years with six rough and tumble boys and one sister in their family. Marlin often told stories about the summers spent at Lake Metegoshe with the Bonar’s, the horses they had at home, his trips with his Dad to Thamesville, ON to sell horses at a cousin’s auction mart, the shenanigans with his brothers, and his mom’s huge garden. As a young teenager, Marlin did farm work and then learned to butcher at Argue’s Store before being sent off to play hockey in Winnipeg at age 15. He lived with his Aunt Marjorie and Uncle Archie Asgeirson and then brother and sister in law Wayne and Verna. 

Marlin met Barbara Mitchell in 1974 at a pasture party, and they were married in 1976. They first lived in Gillam, MB while Marlin worked for Manitoba Hydro and Barb at CIBC. A year later they moved to Winnipeg, then to Killarney in early 1978 when Barb’s Dad suddenly passed away. Michelle was born in August and they moved to Morden in September that same year, as Marlin was recruited to play hockey with the Bombers. Marlin put his butchering skills to use working at the local grocery store and later opened Vanrobaeys Quality Fresh Meats butcher shop. The business was sold and in 1990 the family moved to Saskatoon with Marlin working for Schneiders Meats. An opportunity to move back to Manitoba came along a year later and they moved to Winnipeg. Marlin worked at Toledo Foodservice until retirement. Both Marlin and Barb retired in 2014 giving them time to spend with daughter Michelle and grandson Van. Winters were spent in Arizona and Texas and the summers at their home at Pelican Lake. Marlin’s retirement years were short but he spent them being close to family and friends and his horses. He had lots of adventures and laughs along the way. His horse is missing him, his garage is a feat of organization, and his leaf blower is at rest.

Marlin was predeceased by his parents Maurice and Dorothy, Father-in-law Morley Mitchell, brothers Thomas and Lynn, sister Barbara LeBlanc, and great nephew Hudson Hislop.

Marlin is survived by his wife Barb, daughter Michelle and grandson Van Moodie; Step Dad George Weidenhamer (Doreen Goethals), mother in law Mary VanDaele, brothers Wayne (Verna), Bob (Judy), Michael (Roxy), sister in law Dixie Ashton (Ray), brother in laws Marv LeBlanc (Debbie), Wally Mitchell (Jackie), Donald Mitchell, David Mitchell, nieces and nephews Laurie Shultz, Allen Vanrobaeys (Heather), Cori Vanrobaeys, Christi Magwood (Marv), Jeff Vanrobaeys (Dianne), Jason Vanrobaeys (Nicole), Derek LeBlanc (Kara), Devon LeBlanc (Farran), Jordan Vanrobaeys (Chelsea), Mandy Hislop (Hugh), Kailey Penner (Nick), Brady Mitchell, Lindsay Mitchell, Ryan Mitchell, and their children Jessie and Dalon Shultz, Ben and Ava Vanrobaeys, Colton, Morgan and Jaycee Magwood, Emma and Owen Vanrobaeys, Brax and Braya LeBlanc, Payton and Lukas LeBlanc, Lane, Kalia and Keaton Vanrobaeys, William Hislop, Logan and Hannah Penner.  Know each and every one of you held a special place in UNC’s heart.

Due to the Manitoba Covid restrictions a private family graveside service is being planned and we are hoping to have a celebration of life later this year. 

The outpouring of support and thoughtful wishes is overwhelming but so helpful in dealing with our loss. If desired, donations in Marlin’s memory can be made to a youth sports program of your choice.  



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