Marvin Ray Waters
Durham NC

Published 8:49 pm Thursday, June 3, 2010

By Staff
In life and death we belong to God.
Marvin Waters, 56, a native of Washington County, died on Monday, May 31 at Duke Hospital after a 4 1/2 year battle with colorectal cancer. His wife Peggy and daughters Charlotte and Amy were by his side, as they have been throughout his illness. Marvin was a respected attorney, government official, pastor, and community leader, who strove to be a man of God and a good husband and father. He succeeded on all counts during a life that, though too short, was so well lived.
Born in Plymouth N.C. on August 28, 1953 to the late Alton Waters and Elsie Waters, Marvin met Peggy during high school and thus began a wonderful and continuing love story. Marvin studied religion and philosophy at Mt. Olive College and Barton College, and they married after his graduation in 1975. After their marriage he became the minister at Shiloh Free Will Baptist Church in Pinetown and later at St. Mary's Free Will Baptist Church in New Bern. Armed with a master's in education and counseling from East Carolina, Marvin and Peggy used their music and speaking skills and their strong Christian faith to strengthen these churches during a 19-year ministry, and they were in turn embraced by the wonderful people they served.
Marvin felt a call to a different ministry in 1990, and rekindled an earlier dream by starting law school at NCCU while Peggy taught in the Durham Public Schools. After graduation he became Assistant District Attorney for Durham County. He used his speaking talents in the courtroom, always taking seriously the responsibility of that office to administer the law fairly and stand by those touched by crime. He then took his courtroom skills to state government, serving as general counsel with the ABC Commission and the Attorney General's Office before his final position as Assistant Secretary of the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
Marvin and Peggy found a new faith home in Durham at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church, where his gifts as a speaker, teacher, choir member, and church leader were welcomed. His ministry continued as they hosted numerous youth and senior citizens in their gracious home, with Marvin happily serving as a connector of people from all walks of life. His great humor helped him become a man of many friends, who rallied around him during his illness.
Marvin's greatest pleasure came through his role as the father of two beautiful young women. They remember his being at every performance, soccer game, and cheerleading event in their lives, even after cancer made it challenging to play the kind of role he always had, as the only man in the house. He rallied after surgery to present Amy at the Durham Debutante Ball in 2007. On Saturday, May 22, he participated via Skype as Charlotte married Ted Reedy at Duke Gardens, and rejoiced with them in his hospital room afterwards.
Survivors, in addition to Peggy, Amy, Charlotte and Ted, include his mother-in-law Doris Stocks, his brother Al and wife Mary Gladys Waters of Greenville, his sister Gloria and husband Billy Williams of Plymouth, and his half-sisters Anne Hastings of Washington and Lillian Cooper of Jamesville.
A celebration of Marvin's life was held in his hospital room just before his death. It will continue at the funeral at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 5 at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church, 927 West Trinity Avenue, with the Rev. Dr. Donovan Drake presiding. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, gifts in Marvin's memory be made to the Pastor's Discretionary Fund at Trinity Avenue for the caregiver's needs in tending to a loved one.
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