Ava Lou Marvel, age 87, peacefully went home to be with her Lord on November 23, 2020. She was born in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas on August 23, 1933, the middle child of three daughters born to Claude and Mary Tillman. At the age of two and a half, her family moved to Houston, Texas, where she resided until her marriage in 1952. Ava attended and graduated from Sam Houston High School, where she was a member of the Black Battalion Drill Squad.
Ava met her future husband, Robert “Bob” Joseph Marvel on a blind date while he was stationed in Louisiana during the Korean War. They were married on October 11, 1952 in Houston, and shared 63 years together until Bob’s passing in 2016.
Since Bob was from New Jersey, they relocated to his native state and made their home in Matawan. Ava became a homemaker and also worked part-time as a bookkeeper for photographer Seymour Pappas of Pappas Studios, making sure she was always home by the time her children returned from school.
In 1988, Ava and Bob moved to Brenham after his retirement from Jersey Central Power and Light, fulfilling his promise that they would return to Texas so she could be near her family. Along with her sister Jorretta, she became an active member of the Fortnightly Arts Department, and, as an avid reader herself, looked forward each year to volunteering at the book fair. Ava made her church home at Fellowship Baptist Church, where she faithfully attended Wednesday Bible Studies and Sunday Services until her health declined. She especially looked forward to the annual Christmas cantata sung by the choir.
Naturally outgoing, Ava was quick to smile, had a great sense of humor, and loved a good joke. In the last years of her life, when her health began to fail, she met the challenges it presented with a positive outlook. Her mantra was, “it is what it is,” putting her faith in the Lord to help her overcome these hardships.
Ava was preceded in death by her parents Claude and Mary, her husband Robert, and her sister Jorretta LeBleu. She is survived by her sister Verna Dean Taylor of San Antonio, Texas; her children Robert Joseph Marvel, Jr. (Mary) of Plano, Texas and Debra Ann Marvel Bostic (James) of Austin, Texas; and grandson Christopher James Bostic of Austin, Texas.
A private graveside service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Brenham Public Library.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.