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Marvin Fischer, 60

Our dear brother and friend Marvin George Fischer, son of Al and Mary Fischer of Farmington, born Dec. 31, 1947, passed away suddenly Oct. 2, 2008 in Pattya, Thailand, where he taught English for six years.

Marvin attended St. John's University and earned a B.A. in Psychology from Mankato State. He later received a teaching degree from the University of Riverside in Riverside, Calif.

Marvin had many interests. His fascination with other cultures and his love of Eastern Philosophy and meditation took him all over the Far East where he lived for many years. Immersing himself in the Human Potential Movement, he adopted a philosophy of "Love, Life, Laughter" and brought a spirit of playfulness and kindness with him wherever he went. His desire to make a difference led him to devote two years of his life as an instructor for Outward Bound and to spend two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala where he taught crop rotation and farming in his village above Lake Atitlan. Trekking throughout the highlands by horseback, he learned to speak the local Spanish language fluently. A second hitch in the Peace Corps brought him to the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal where he established the first school in his mountaintop village and planted fruit orchards which remain to this day.

Marvin was an adventuresome entrepreneur who never stayed put for long. He got his pilot's license and began importing textiles from Peru before opening a sandwich shop in Venice Beach, Calif. and later teaching English in the Barrio of L.A. A trip back to his village in Nepal landed him in India where he lived for a time on an Ashram in Poona. When the Bhagwan Rashneesh left Poona to open an Ashram in Oregon, Marvin followed and became the local bus driver, entertaining his friends and fellow sannyasins with frequent Elvis impersonations and violin solos. After leaving the Ashram in the early '90s, he taught English in Kyoto, Japan at the University of Notre Dame. Weekends he farmed a small plot of land at his second home in the countryside village of Yaggi, growing flowers and vegetables.

In 1995, Marvin purchased the Diffley farm on So. Robert Trail in Eagan and opened Marvin's Gardens. Friends and neighbors may remember this funky little roadside stand for its hearty bedding plants and beautiful hanging flower baskets. In the fall it became Gardens of Eagan when Martin and Attina Diffley brought their wholesome organic produce to market there.

Marvin George will be missed by his siblings Pat, Buzz and Gina, his aunts and cousins and his many friends from all over the world who were charmed by his free spirit, his quirky sense of humor and his stories of adventure.