Marvin Davis Free, Jr. of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, passed away on July 13, 2019 at his home surrounded by his loving family and dog, Abby.

Marvin was born on September 16, 1947 in San Francisco, California, son of Marvin D. Free and Julia (Frierson) Free.  He earned a BBA (‘70), MBA (‘72), and MA (‘77) from Baylor University and a PhD (‘85) from the University of Denver.

In July 1979, Marvin married his wife, Sandra Gardsbane.  They were married for forty years. Together they had two children, Jonathan Free and Benjamin Free. Marvin was involved in his children’s lives as an active volunteer and leader in Boy Scouts.  He never missed a sporting event or school event in which they participated.

He began his teaching career at UW-Marathon County in 1985. In 1996, he accepted a position at UW-Whitewater, where he worked as a Professor of Sociology and Criminology until his retirement in January 2015. He was the author of many books and articles, where his research primarily centered on wrongful convictions.

Following his retirement, he traveled with Abby, his beloved dog, as a team visiting nursing homes, group homes and day care centers.  They were also a part of the Reading Program at the Fort Library.

Marvin spent his time diligently training Abby to compete in American Kennel Club Obedience and Rally events.  They were quite the team, winning many first place ribbons as Abby acquired 6 titles.

Marvin was preceded in death by his father, mother, sister, Faye Deaton, brother-in-law Ray Deaton and brother-in-law, Brian Gardsbane.  He is survived by his wife Sandra, sons Jonathan and Benjamin, sister, Kaye (Don) Ellison, and many family members and friends.

A memorial service will be held graveside at Evergreen Cemetery, in Fort Atkinson on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 11 am. 

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson, P.O. Box 205, Fort Atkinson WI 53538.

Dunlap Memorial Home, Fort Atkinson, is assisting the family with arrangements.

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