Marvin Tick, son of a Holocaust survivor, is remembered for his work and more | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Marvin Tick, son of a Holocaust survivor, is remembered for his work and more 


Ten years ago this past August, a gunman walked into the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek and opened fire, killing six people in an apparent act of hate. The attack ripped through the heart of Milwaukee, sending shock waves across the area’s close-knit faith community. But Marvin Tick refused to sit idle in the wake of the horror and sadness.  

“Marvin led the charge, organizing a representation of Milwaukee Jewry to be present to lend support and assistance to our Sikh brothers and sisters, letting them know that Milwaukee Jews were with them in their hour of need,” his brother David Tick wrote on Facebook.  

Tick, who spent his life as a fierce advocate against antisemitism and worked tirelessly to further a wide range of social justice causes, died on Dec. 1. He was 70.  

“He loved his family, he loved his neighbors, he loved his community,” his son Ira Tick said. “Every place he went he adopted this extended family of people and became for them just as he was for his own family, a protector, defender and teacher.” 

Tick knew all too well about the horrendously destructive nature of hate and was driven to extinguish its flames. His father Walter fled Germany after Kristallnacht when in November 1938, the Nazis led violent protests against the nation’s Jewish people. Jews were attacked and killed, their businesses looted and their synagogues destroyed.  

“My grandfather, after World War I, opened a dry good store. My grandfather and my father hid in their apartment. They could see the store out the window and could see the crowds…the store was totally trashed,” Marvin Tick said in a November 2022, Holocaust Education Resource Center video about Kristallnacht. 

A year later, Tick’s father came to the United States. He was drafted in 1944 and returned to Germany as a Ritchie Boy at the end of the war. He would eventually serve on the prosecution team at the first Nuremberg war trials.  

“Perhaps the most important thing we can remember in all of this is education is now more important than ever,” Tick said in the video.  

Tick was born on February 16, 1952, in Decatur, Illinois, to S. Walter Tick and Frona Helen Tick. Like many of his generation, Tick spent his early adult years demanding peace and equal rights. He married Barbara Lynn Tick on June 6, 1982.  

Tick’s family history and his faith had a profound impact on his life. In Decatur, he served as the president of Temple B’nai Abraham and was a member of its board. After moving to Milwaukee, he served on the boards of the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center and the Jewish Community Relations Council, programs of Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and was an active member of both and other Jewish organizations.  

HERC noted that Tick was instrumental in the passing of Holocaust education legislation, personally calling dozens of lawmakers urging them to pass the bill.  

“Marvin Tick brought his energy, his heart, his sense of humor, and his voice into every room, and was committed to the core to the needs of the Jewish community. A man of endless energy, Marvin could always be counted on,” HERC wrote in announcing his death.  

Marvin Tick was active in the Jewish Democrats. He also supported the work of a range of organizations dedicated to voting rights, healthcare expansion, diversity and solidarity, and the fight against discrimination and antisemitism, his son said.  

“He told me that if you didn’t get involved yourself, not only were you shirking your responsibility, but that might mean that someone else would get involved who you feel is not up to the task,” Ira Tick said. 

A lover of showtune movies, Marvin Tick was known to quote from such films as “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather,” his son said.  

“Or tell a joke and not care who he was saying it for. He was saying it to the universe, whether anyone around him was paying attention or would get what the joke was. He was willing to laugh at himself and his own jokes,” he said. “I won’t forget that.” 

In addition to his son Ira, Marvin is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughter Adriane, his sister Hedy and brother David along with a number of nieces, nephews and grandchildren.  

Graveside funeral service held Dec. 4 at Agudas Achim Cemetery, Cudahy. Rabbi Dovid Rapoport officiated. Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to HERC, Peltz Center for Jewish Life or Jewish Community Relations Council appreciated