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Marvin Travis Dodson

Marvin Travis Dodson, age 81, of El Dorado, Arkansas, passed away on Monday, April 18, 2022 at the Medical Center of South Arkansas. 

Marvin was born in El Dorado on April 12, 1941 to Travis Dodson and Louise Mason Dodson. His mother, Louise, was deaf, and Marvin was fluent in sign language before he could talk. Growing up in El Dorado, he learned to love all things mechanical, sports, and outdoors, making the most of small town life alongside his brothers, James and Joe. 

After graduating high school, Marvin went into professional drag racing, competing against both “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney, the first female professional drag racer (who beat him soundly). After his drag racing days, he took over Dodco, Inc., his family business in industrial insulation and asbestos abatement, which he ran until his retirement. However, he never lost his love of driving, and tinkering with, fast cars. 

Marvin and his wife, Melinda, loved collaborating on projects, and he always had a long list of things to work on next, from building a waterfall and pond to rival the work of Mother Nature in their own backyard, or simply keeping her car gassed up and ready to drive for nearly 50 years. All of their friends can attest that if you needed something fixed or built, Mr. Marvin was the man to ask. 

Along with his family business, Marvin had a passion for energy conservation, and he spent much of his time reading, thinking, and writing about it. He loved working out solutions to problems, planning his next project, spending time with his family, and cheering on his Razorbacks.

Marvin is survived by his wife of 47 years, Melinda Munson Dodson, children Elisha Dodson Hanna, Mardi Dodson, and Regan Dodson, two grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, as well as his brother James Dodson. 

A Celebration of Life will be held at 4:00 p.m. this Saturday, April 30, 2022 at the Dodson residence. Memorials may be made to UCAPS, P. O. Box 204, El Dorado, AR 71730 or the South Arkansas Arts Center, 110 E. Fifth St., El Dorado, AR 71370. Condolences may be shared at for the Dodson family.