Olathe’s ‘Santa Claus’ dead at 81

Marvin 'Doc' Wollen dead at 81. Family photo

Marvin ‘Doc’ Wollen dead at 81. Family photo

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Much of the following information was provided by Wollen’s daughter, Cathy Maxwell.)

Long-time optometrist, community activist, community Santa Claus, and for years the voice of the Johnson County Old Settlers Parade, Marvin “Doc” Wollen, died peacefully at his home this morning, Tuesday, Sept. 10.

He was 81.

According to his daughter, Cathy Maxwell, funeral services will be Monday, Sept 16, 2013 at Grace United Methodist Church. Visitation is scheduled for 9 a.m. with services starting at 10:30. Graveside services will be at 2:30 p.m. in Garnett.

Wollen will be most remembered by thousands of children for his role as Santa Claus.  He was talked into being the “right jolly old elf” for the first time by his oldest daughter’s kindergarten teacher.  The suit and the part was a natural fit for him and he continued to entertain Olathe School District children as well as appearing at numerous charity and community events as Santa for a total of forty-nine years.  He is also known for his support of local football teams with his infamous watermelon feeds during summer practices.  Continue reading

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