Marvin J. Wilhelm

Marvin J. Wilhelm, 87, died Saturday April 20, 2019, at his home in Shawnee, Kansas, of congestive heart failure surrounded by his family.  Marvin was born on February 17, 1932, in Kelly, Kansas, to Frank and Amelia.  He was the 5th of 7 children and at the age of 16, lost his mother.  After his father remarried he gained 9 step-siblings.  Marvin joined the US Army in 1952, fought in Korea, and was honorably discharged in 1954.

After the war, Marvin delivered Taystee Bread products to a grocery store in Merriam, Kansas, that had a special clerk he fell in love with.  He later married that clerk Peggy that he had met at her parent’s grocery store.  Marvin and Peggy had 3 children Patty, Mike and Michelle.  They were married for over 57 years.  Patty and Brad gave them 4 grandchildren, Justin, Cody, Mackenzie, and Carter and twin great grandchildren, Ethan & Parker.  Michelle and Gary gave them 3 grandchildren, Izzy, Abby, and Gabe.  A big joke among his grandchildren is who is his #1 grandchild.  They all try to get him to slip up and say they are the #1 grandchild.  Some of the grandchildren refer to him as “Yo-Yo”.

Marvin established Windtrax in 1974.  Starting with a car wash and laundromat in Merriam, Kansas, Marvin and Peggy bought and sold car washes.  Over time, the number of car washes they owned increased.  Marvin developed an inventory of supplies and spare parts to keep the car washes operating.  When other owners had something break at their car washes, they often went to Marvin and asked to purchase a spare part or two from him.  As more car wash owners purchased items from Marvin, he outgrew the storage room at his car wash. In 1979, he was described as a pioneer car wash operator a “rugged hard working individual”.  He was noted as having one of the 10 best carwashes in the city when he had 11 bays on Troost Ave.    He was also a speaker at the International Car Wash Association and the Mid-America Car Wash Association.  In 1986, Windtrax became a corporation and Marvin moved the business into a 4,000 square-foot building at 31st and Troost in Kansas City, Missouri.  The business continued to grow, and in 1996 moved to its current location, a 20,000 square-foot building in Mission, Kansas.  Windtrax is still going strong for over 45 years. 

Marvin helped coach his children’s softball, basketball, and football teams.  He was Scout Master with his son’s Boy Scout troop and enjoyed making pinewood derby cars.  Marvin’s hobbies included golfing, boating, traveling in his RV, planting flowers, playing cards, and fixing things.  One of his Florida friends nicknamed him Marvelous Marvin because he was always fixing things for her.  He attended school in a 1 room schoolhouse until the 8th grade and later went on to get his GED. We liked to think of him as an engineer without a degree.  He was always looking for a different method to make something work better.  For example, he created an automated watering system for his plants at home and the lake.  He also designed his own lifts for the waverunners.  He enjoyed spending time with family and friends at their house in Polk City, Florida and was always up for happy hour during the winter months.  For 22 years they traveled to RV events with Rita and John.  John was like a brother to him. During the summer, he enjoyed his lake house with the whole family and the many neighbors that became friends.  Marvin also attended as many sporting events for his grandchildren as he could cheering them on from the sidelines.  When his premie twin great grandchildren were born 11 weeks early he was able to visit them at the hospital and hold them.  He couldn’t believe babies could be that small.  He was able to enjoy time with them over the last year.

Marvin is survived by his wife Peggy; two daughters, Patty (Brad) Daniels, and daughter Michelle (Gary) Sommerfeld; 7 Grandchildren Justin (Cindy), Cody, Mackenzie, and Carter Daniels and Izzy, Abby, and Gabe Sommerfeld;  2 great-grandchildren Parker and Ethan (Justin); his oldest sister Geraldine Schmelze; and his youngest brother Joseph Wilhelm. 

Marvin was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Amelia, his son Michael (September 23, 1987) and siblings Irvin, Vollie, Ethel, and Frank. 


Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Amos Family Funeral Home. Funeral service at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 25, 2019, at Church of the Resurrection West Campus.


Memorial Contributions

Church of the Resurrection United Methodist

24000 W. Valley Pkwy.

Olathe, KS 66061


Bristol Hill United Methodist Church

4826 County Line Road

Kansas City, KS 66106

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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Monday, Apr. 22nd 2019 | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “Marvin J. Wilhelm”

  1. Mike & Judy Ward Says:

    We give our condolences to dear friend Peggy and her wonderfully
    Supportive family at this time, grieving for Marvin, as he transends to even a better life. We will always treasure the memories of the RV trips around the nation with Marvin and Peggy. Marvin will be missed by everyone; We will miss him as a good friend and mentor these past 10 years. May God bless Peggy and her family always.

    Mik and Judy

  2. Shirley Magness Baumgartner Says:

    Sorry for lost. I will miss my Uncle Marvin. God bless you all and May the Lord be with you.

  3. Jon and Elizabeth Eckert Says:

    We are so sorry for your loss, The years that we had with Marvin were a privilege. Our favorite neighbor.

  4. Sharon Millard Says:

    What a wonderful life with so many who loved him so much. I offer my prayers for you, Peggy, and your family, for strength during this difficult time. He will be missed by so many.

  5. Jerry Bowhay Says:

    Cheryl and I offer our sympathies. Thoughts and prayers to you Peggy, Patti and Michelle and all of your family.

  6. Heather and Butch Smith Says:

    So happy for the years we got to spend with Marvin. He was one of a kind! Watched him build there house in Florida and he was perpetual motion. That’s when we named him Marvelous Marvin, always going. He made us laugh with all the stories of him growing up and his life with Peggy. The happy hours with the newmar friends and we’re eating at 9:00!!! Dancing at the clubhouse. Such great memories. We will miss you so much Marvin. Can’t imagine life without you. Rip my dear friend. Love you to pieces…


    Met Wilhelms because our Daughters became BFF’s in grade school! Their friendship lasted forever and we enjoyed that friendship with Peggy and Marvin. Good people and Marvin will be missed. Judy and Leon Johnson

  8. Galen and Leinda Haddock Says:

    So sorry to hear that Peggy and her family have lost a special person to me. Marvin was unique. Marvin and his whole family are salt of the earth people. I met Marvin at the beginning of my business career. Marvin was as straight forward as they come. I always trusted whatever Marvin would tell me about starting a business that I knew nothing about. He helped me greatly which I could never repay. Marvin was the reason after 35 years have been successful in business. Thank you, Marvin. I know you are enjoying your time with Mike now. I will miss my friend. But will always carry my memories of you. May God help Peggy and family through this trying time.

  9. Betty Parhomek Says:

    So sorry for you loss. I will always have fond memories of family get gatherings with Uncle Marvin, Aunt Peggy and my cousins and the rest of the Wilhelm family. Sorry I could not be there for the services. Keeping you all in my prayers.

  10. Bill & Debbie Kremers Says:

    So very sorry for your loss. What a great guy..always so friendly and kind. He will be missed. Hugs to you all. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

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