On November 29th, 2023 at approximately 8:15 pm in Pasadena MD, beloved Marlow C. Vesterby passed away after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife (Karen Vesterby), son, (John Vesterby), daughter (Marie Vesterby), granddaughter (Kaitlyn Vesterby), daughter-in-law (Denise Vesterby), and grandson-in-law (Mark Brewer). He is preceded in death by his mother, Elsie Vesterby (1902-1942), and his father, Christian Marius Vesterby (1888-1978).
Marlow was born on September 2nd, 1937 in Plentywood, Montana. He grew up on a small farm in Plentywood that our Danish ancestors built from the ground up under the Homestead Act in the early 1900s. By the age of 5 years old, he lost his mother and was raised by his father for the remainder of his childhood. During his youth, he worked on the farm with his father Marius. He worked long laborious days in the spring and summer from dawn till dusk in hopes of a bountiful crop yield. Depending on the year, wheat, barley, peas, or a similar crop might be grown on the farm. In the winter, he and his father went into the city to stay in a house for the winter. This farm is still Vesterby-owned and maintained by another family living in Montana.
In the late 1950s, Marlow pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics at Montana State University, and completed his degree within 4 years. After his undergraduate education, he entered the United States Navy Westpac as an Ensign. The Navy eventually promoted him to a Lieutenant Junior (LTJG). He served on active duty from 1961-1964 and spent most of his time on salvage ship, which is responsible for recovering damaged ships and cleaning up debris and wreckage on the high seas. He officially retired from the Navy in 1967.
In 1965, Marlow began his Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at Montana State University. During his time in university, he met Karen Bittner in January 1966 through some friends who invited them to play cards. Marlow and Karen quickly fell in love and married each other in June of 1966. Throughout their 57 years of marriage, they were inseparable and did everything in life together. They traveled around the world together to places like Hawaii, Belize, Alaska, the Netherlands, and more. They had two beautiful children together, John Vesterby (January 1968) and Marie Vesterby (February 1972). After Marlow finished his Master’s degree circa 1966, they moved to Oregon together when Marlow received a job offer for an Agricultural Economist position with the United States Department of Agriculture, Economics Research division. Much of his research focused on land use in the United States and its agricultural, cultural, and societal implications. He also loved to collect toy tractors and compiled an impressive collection over the years. After 42 years of agricultural economic research, Marlow retired from the USDA to fully enjoy life and spend more time with friends and family.
Throughout his retirement, Marlow enjoyed gardening, playing Pokémon Go, traveling, and going to the movie theater and dining out at restaurants. He especially loved to spend time with his family and always treated them to an annual family trip to Ocean City for Labor Day week. He also dedicated a significant amount of time to helping his family, friends, and neighbors. He would never turn down an opportunity to help someone, even if it meant sacrificing his own needs or desires. Marlow was an exceptionally compassionate, understanding, and loving person. He will be deeply missed by everyone who had the pleasure to know and love him. Rest in loving peace, Marlow.