Sunday, May 26, 2002


Marvin Clyde Shelby, former owner and general manager of Hawaii Wigwam Stores, died May 22. The Kalihi Wigwam store, shown here in 1968, was part of a chain of "supermarket department stores."

Hawaii retailer owned
isle Wigwam and
Marsh Co. stores

Kumu hula Paleka Leina'ala Mattos
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By Diana Leone

Marvin Clyde Shelby, 79, of Honolulu, former owner and manager of Wigwam Stores and the Marsh Company, died May 22 at Queen's Medical Center.

Shelby was born in Matthews, Mo., and came to Hawaii as one of the original partners in the Seattle-based Wigwam chain in 1964. He had begun with the company as a part-timer while in college.

The Wigwam chain, which called itself a "supermarket department store" opened its first Hawaii store in 1958 on Dillingham Boulevard in Kalihi. By the time it was sold to Pay Less Drug Stores of Oakland, Calif., in 1971, the chain had annual sales of $37.4 million at 43 stores in Arizona, California, Washington and Hawaii.

Wigwam's Hawaii chain consisted of seven Wigwam stores on Oahu and one in Hilo and eight Dodi's Fabric stores on Oahu and one in Hilo.

Shelby continued as vice president and general manager for Wigwam in Hawaii for a year after the sale to Pay Less, then retired.

Shelby also was owner and president of the Marsh Company, which he founded in 1979. It included the Marsh Co. and Furniture Warehouse outlets on Dillingham Boulevard, the Marsh Co. store in Waipahu and four other Marsh Co. or furniture Warehouse stores on Oahu and Maui that were operated under franchise agreements. In 1988, C.S. Wo bought the Marsh Company.

The Wigwam stores took their name from the flagship Seattle store's beginnings in a tent.

Shelby is survived by his wife, Dorothy "Betty," son Mark "Kim," daughter Kathilyn, brother Charles Lee, sister Emma Lou Sloan, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. Wednesday at the First Church of the Nazarene, with service at 5:30 p.m. Moanalua Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

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