John Marlow Jr. 91, of Billings, passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 9:00 AM at Sweetwater Retirement Community, 3140 Sweet Water Dr. with burial to follow at Yellowstone National Cemetery at 11:00 AM.
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John was born in Windham, MT on April 22, 1928. He grew up on a wheat farm near Stanford, MT. After graduating from High School he attended Shepard College in West Virginia. He graduated with a degree in Accounting and he liked the discipline of the study. He went right from college into the military.
John met his wife Helen at a rodeo. Once drafted into the Army and doing much travel he continued to correspond with Helen.
In 1950 the Korean War had just started. At that time John was drafted, attended basic training, and served 23 active years in the Army. His first Army assignment, after basic training was with a 280mm Filed Artillery Battalion. He went to Europe in 1953 with this Battalion.
His next overseas assignment was post-war Korea as Headquarters Battery Commander. He then came back to the United States as an instructor at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. At this time his daughter Linda was born.
John’s next major assignment was in Turkey. He served as a military advisor to the Turkish Artillery and Air Defense Missile Systems which used United States equipment for three years. He came back from Turkey to the Fort Bliss Texas Army Base.
John headed up a think tank with others which wrote up military requirements for the Patriot Missle System. Eventually the contract was awarded to Martin Marietta and General Electric as co-developers for the Patriot Missile System which is still in operation today. John completed travel to Huntsville, the Pentagon, and Fort Bliss as a Lieutenant Colonial while the system was under development. After developing the process for the Patriot Missile System, he retired from the military.
After the Army, John and his wife Helen were planning to start up a CPA firm in Martinsburg, WV. They both took the CPA exam which Helen passed, and John did not. John then worked as city manager at Martinsburg for six years. Helen was employed by a local CPA firm. They retired and bought a house in a retirement community in Lakeland, FL. A sign in the community read: “Drive Slowly, Grandparents at Play.” There his wife Helen passed away.
John came to Billings to visit his older sister, who introduced her to her friend Thelma. John and Thelma started corresponding by phone and soon Thelma was visiting in Florida. They traveled to Arizona and married in Las Vegas. They continued to enjoy travel. Then Thelma passed away from Pancreatic Cancer while they were living in Arizona. Thelma’s children invited John to live in Billings…so John has a step-son in Billing and another is Casper, WY. John lived at Sweetwater for 11 years.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen; daughter, Linda; and second wife, Thelma.
He is survived by his sister, Betty Rugh; and numerous nieces and nephews.