Marvin Howard Embree was born in Waurika Oklahoma on September 5th, 1942 to parent’s BW “Dub” Embree and his wife Dorothy Davis Embree. He passed away on April 25th, 2021 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The family resided in the rural farming community of Oscar, Oklahoma. Marvin attended high school in Ryan, Oklahoma; graduating in 1960 and subsequently attending Southeastern College in Durant Oklahoma where he briefly played football.
Marvin joined the United States Marine Corp in 1963, serving a total of six years in the Marines, Army and National Guard. In 1965, Marvin joined the Village police department in Oklahoma City as a dispatch officer. Through fellow police officer he met musicians Luther Perkins and Roger Miller who would become lifelong friends. Marvin moved to Nashville shortly thereafter and was introduced to the world of art through music. He returned to Oklahoma to attend Central State College in Edmond Oklahoma, (now known as University of Central Oklahoma or UCO). It was while at UCO, Marvin found his love and passion for the arts graduating with a bachelor’s degree in art specializing in ceramics, painting, drawing and photography.
While at Central State Marvin met fellow artists Bill Wallo, George Oswalt, Noel Torrey and T.C. Cannon. They were known as The Formidable Five. After graduating, Marvin received his teaching certificate and applied to a fledgling startup school (newly established in 1969) in north Oklahoma City called Heritage Hall, in 1976.
It is while at Heritage Hall where Marvin would begin to build an art program that focused solely on inviting every student to participate. Students thrived through his ability to encourage them that art was not simply a pass or fail class but an arena of thought and humor that they could carry with them throughout life. He retired in 2008 after 32 years of teaching but continued to influence hundreds of young minds for another decade.
Marvin’s greatest joy in life was his son Eli Embree who he raised as a single parent. Besides teaching, Marvin’s love of fatherhood truly showed in his son, Eli’s vast appreciation of the arts and humanities. His legacy was further cemented when Heritage Hall opened a permanent art gallery on campus in the Fall of 2019, aptly named The Embree Art Gallery. Marvin continued teaching ceramics at The House of Clay till this last year.
Marvin is preceded in death by his parents, Dub and Dorthy Embree. He leaves behind a son, Eli Embree of Oklahoma City, adopted brother, John Powell and wife Dana of Wayne Oklahoma, a stepdaughter, Erin Shaw and step grandson, Samuel Shaw of Fayetteville Arkansas and countless students who affectionately called him Mr. E.
There will be a graveside service for family and friends on Wednesday May 5th at 2:30pm at the Ryan Cemetery; Ryan, Oklahoma (Dad’s hometown cemetery)
There will be a memorial service for Marvin at Heritage Hall Upper School in Oklahoma City on Saturday May 15th at 11am for all who knew him.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marvin Howard Embree, please visit our floral store.