February 27, 1927 October 26, 2010

Dr. Marvin A. Kocks passed into eternity on Tuesday, October 26, 2010, surrounded by his loving family at his bedside. He always claimed that his brief life was a gift from God and that he had to make use of his gifts and serve and share with his fellow sojourners. He did so as a dentist, as a giving community member and as a loving son, husband, father and grandfather.

After serving in the military, Marvin graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1955, with a D.D.S. degree. He then came to Ashland from Chaska, Minn., in the late 1950s. He had a family that was born, raised and educated in the Ashland of the 60s, 70s that was the essence of small-town Americana with a mixture of extraordinary cultural highlights in full good measure.

Through the years Marvin belonged to several community service organizations, including Ashland Lions Club, and B.P.O.E. #944 Ashland Elks. He was the first Amigo club president and Sister City chairman.

As a dentist, he was active in six dental societies and associations and also served on the Oregon State Board of Dental Examiners, four years as vice-president and then as president. Dr. Kocks belonged to eight study clubs including the Gnathology Northwest and OBI Foundation for Bioesthetic Dentistry. During these years he took part in many clinic presentations and seminars and helped to foster and promote post-graduate studies throughout Oregon. His colleagues subsequently awarded him for all these efforts.

Dr. Kocks loved his profession and his patients knew that he had their best interests in his heart. He served them faithfully for 54 years, and he always considered that it was an honor and a privilege to be their dentist.

In January 1968, the Friendship City Committee, under Chairman Dr. Marvin Kocks, set goals for the future Sister City relationship in a document titled the Ashland-Guanajuato Friendship City Program Outline. Its preamble begins with these prophetic words, We hope that as many citizens of our two cities and others who may be interested, may meet with each other, exchange viewpoints, ideas, customs, traditions, and in general enrich each others' lives. This program might best be initiated on an exchange basis

The Southern Oregon student exchange program known as Amistad (Friendship) grew out of the early efforts guided by Dr. Kocks, the faculty at S.O.U. and citizens of Ashland, including Sister City visionary SOU professor Grace Senora Chela Tapp, who has been married now to Dr. Kocks for 39 years. More than 1,000 students, academics and professionals have participated over the last 41 years in the many exchange programs. The Friendship City Committee eventually evolved into the Amigo Club of Ashland Oregon Inc., which today has more than 150 members who help keep Ashland's relations with Guanajuato alive. Dr. Kocks has been awarded several times by the Guanajuato dentists and citizens for his many services on their behalf.

Dr. Kocks' hobbies included farming, viticulture, wild flower photography, opera, architecture and bread making. Many of which he shared with his children and grandchildren, passing to them the fullness of life in varied dimensions.

He is survived by his first wife, Marylen Kocks; children, Leslie (Bob) Silver and their children, Emily and Christopher, Dana (Eric) Henderson and their children, Erica and Olivia, and Jonathan (Rebecca) Kocks. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Meredith Levison; and son, Matthew Kocks. He included in his family, Jay (Lori) Tapp and their children Nicholas, Christa and Ashlynn; and stepsons, Komac and Bull Tapp. His great-grandchildren include Braden and Joshua Silver.

Dr. Kocks was an avid bible student, and requested that all his family and friends would share the serene peace that he felt at the end of his mortal life knowing that he lives today and through eternity with the Lord.

A funeral/memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, November 6, 2010, at Ashland Christian Fellowship, 50 West Hersey Street, Ashland OR. The service will be immediately followed by a reception also at Ashland Christian Fellowship.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Adoption Ministry at Ashland Christian Fellowship.