Cover photo for Marvin Henry Lanham Jr.'s Obituary
Marvin Henry Lanham Jr. Profile Photo

Marvin Henry Lanham Jr.

June 27, 1957 — April 2, 2024

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Marvin Henry Lanham Jr.

Marvin H. Lanham Jr. was born on June 27, 1957, in Henderson, KY, the third child to his parents, Marvin H. Lanham Sr. and Roberta Sisco Lanham. The family eventually moved to Nashville, TN… a place where Marvin grew up, served his community through the NFD for 33 years, and called “home” for most of his life.

 In the summer of 2015, he was given a cancer diagnosis of Stage III B Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and as scary as that was at the time, he received the good news of remission by the end of November of the same year after undergoing treatment! However, in the middle of the summer of 2021, just months after moving to Oak Ridge, TN – the cancer returned. This time with a vengeance that never again retreated from battle for the last 3 years. During this span of time, the war was on, as Marvin never backed down either! He fought valiantly up until the very end on April 2, 2024, at 6:03pm. He was literally a living example of strength… in every way possible.

 Our family has been led by his strength – His strength of character, devotion, and love! He loved his family more than life and did all he could do to make sure we never needed for anything! Even considering his cancer diagnosis being a direct result of his years of service as a fireman, he said his career choice helped provide a good life for his family, his service helped others in times of need, and his diagnosis helped to provide future generations of firemen to learn about the safety and protection from chemical exposures in firefighting that his generation didn’t know about. He lived his life (and now death) in consideration of others, always giving without question... never expecting anything in return. 

He taught us how to find the humor in everyday life and not to take things too seriously as he knew how precious and fleeting life was by the sheer reverence of seeing and working the horrific tragedies that can happen in a blink of an eye. We learned by his example how to roll with the punches and not to let the hard times overshadow the good and to keep on going. Marvin was also known for being a great listener and mentor to so many people... he had a great instinct for giving amazing insight to problems you might be facing, but also had a way of making you think you figured it out on your own and humbly wanted it no other way! 

He exemplified the value of hard work in all that he did, whether it be his early truck driving days, HVAC repair with his brother, being a Fireman/EMT/Engineer, working on washer & dryers through the years on his second job with Coinmach - later renamed CSC, and he also valued the time gathered around the table for a good meal - something every great fireman knows! 

Marvin is preceded in death by his parents, Marvin Sr. and Roberta; his aunt, Margie Lanham (Mark) Adams; uncle, Robert (Irene) Lanham, and two angel granddaughters (Tommy and Tiffany’s sweet baby girls), and a beloved schnauzer named Abby. 

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Carolyn A. Green Lanham; his sons, Tommy Widener and wife Tiffany and Marvin H. Lanham III (aka., Trey) and wife Kara; his grandsons, Jordan Widener and Brody Widener; his grand pups galore; his brother, Jerry Lanham and wife Pam; his sister, Pat Ogg and husband Wayne; his nieces and nephews; his special cousin, Phyllis Stone; as well as his other extended family, to also include his NFD family, with a special mention to dear friends, Mel Davenport and Clyde Jackson (both retired NFD brothers).

Marvin, we will remember you always… in all that we do, as you left your imprint of humor, humility, hard work, dedication, loyalty to family and friends, and love for all on our hearts forever! 

“We loved you completely. And you loved us the same. That’s all that matters. Everything else is confetti.”

Donations may be made in Memory of Marvin Lanham to the American Cancer Society (Nashville Hope Lodge), 2008 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN, 37246.

To order memorial trees in memory of Marvin Henry Lanham Jr., please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, April 5, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Nashville First Baptist Church

108 7th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

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