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July 03, 2014 09:55 PM

Luverne Man Remembered For Friendship, Great Conversation

Luverne, MN

A source of conversation and friendship in the City of Luverne is no longer there. 71-year-old Marv Cleppe died Wednesday after being hit by a truck on his way home. The news of the accident spread quickly.

"We found out, and everybody was just kind of shocked and everything happened so fast, you really don't have time to think about much," James Fisher said.

"I detoured home and my grandma knows everything, so I went home and I was like ' Grandma, do you know what happened down there?' She said ' Marv got hit,'" Brittney Malwitz said.

For Fisher, he interacted with Cleppe at the barber shop and at local baseball games and truly treasured each moment he was around.

"He always had something to say. He was always very entertaining and cared about what was going on in your life and stuff like that," Fisher said.

Fisher says he was an easy person to admire. Losing the ability to walk after a motorcycle crash years ago never kept him down.

"He had done a lot of things in his life with horse racing and motorcycle racing and things like that. Just knowing the guy for a short period of time, you got to know him on a personal level quick," Fisher said.

Brittney Malwitz works at the Pizza Ranch that Cleppe was leaving from before the accident, and she is also his neighbor. One of the things she'll miss about him the most is his knack for conversation.

"I wouldn't even plan on it being a long conversation and then we'd stand there talking for an hour. He was a nice guy. I miss him," Malwitz said.

She would see him almost every day taking pride in the work he did with his lawn.

"He really liked his yard. He didn't like anyone standing on his grass. He always watered his plants, so I'd always see him outside with the hose or in the back with really loud music fixing cars or something," Malwitz said.

As the community still tries to digest what took place Wednesday night, what they have left from Cleppe are great memories and life-long lessons.

"Always being happy and ok with life and stuff like that. There's a lot to learn from someone like that who has been there and done that," Fisher said.

"Every time I go home or leave I just look across the street and think about him," Malwitz said.

Police say that the driver of the truck that hit Cleppe, 52-year-old Timothy James of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was likely not distracted or under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, but the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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