We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Roger W. Davis Funeral Home
Marvin Eugene Distel, 95, passed away September 18 after a month-long battle with cancer. The son of Catherine and Marshall Distel, Marvin lived and worked all of his life in West Portsmouth where he was a respected educator, coach, and eventually, principal of Portsmouth West High School.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, two sisters, and his youngest son, Paul Kevin Distel. He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Norma Distel; daughter Stephanie (Distel) Kight and her husband Fred; son John Distel and his wife Linda; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; and one brother, Robert Distel.
When Marvin was a teenager, his parents and siblings moved from West Portsmouth to Maryland so that his father could find lucrative work in the shipyards there. Marvin, however, stayed behind, living with his older sister so that he could complete his education at Portsmouth West High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy, serving on a mine-sweeper as a boatswain’s mate. As a member of the Navy, he traveled the world, but his connection to the Portsmouth area was unbreakable, and he returned, eventually enrolling at Wilmington College on the GI Bill.
Early in their marriage, Marvin and Norma came to live in the homestead built by Marvin’s father. There, in the house of his youth, Marvin and Norma raised their own three children, pursued their educations, and dedicated themselves to educating countless young people over their long careers. After retiring from his job as a high school principal, Marvin filled his days with gardening and furniture-making. His home is filled with numerous pieces he created with his own hands.
Marvin’s long life was shaped by, and dedicated to, his family, his home, the pursuit of education, and his belief in the positive impact of hard work. He lived his life with purpose and honor at the nexus of those forces. As his son and daughter recently remarked to each other, he was the rare person who lived the life he wanted.
Funeral services will be 1:00PM Thursday September 22, 2022 at the Roger W. Davis Funeral Home in West Portsmouth with interment in Scioto Burial Park. Military graveside rites will be performed by the James Dickey Post 23 American Legion. Friends may call at the funeral home on Thursday starting at 11AM. Condolences may be sent to www.rogerwdavisfuneralhome.com