| Marcus Dee Wren, Jr.
(Pioneer of the Louisiana
|Born|| January 29, 1924 |
Minden, Webster Parish
|Died|| January 10, 2020 (aged 95) |
|Spouse||Mary Gay Stewart Wren (married 1951-2011, her death)|
Wren's grandfather, George Lovick Pierce Wren, a Georgia native, was a second lieutenant in the Louisiana infantry of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. G. L. P. Wren, as he was known, represented Webster Parish as a Democratic state representative from 1884 to 1992. His father, Marcus, Sr. (1876-1952), represented Minden on the Webster Parish Police Jury from 1920 to 1925. His mother was the former Ola Spencer (1894-1993).
Wren was born on his family homestead, "Wren Woods," eight miles north of Minden. According to his obit, the property "represents all of the things that Marcus represented: a strong sense of character and responsibility rooted in faith, family, and country..Wren graduated from Minden High School and was drafted into the United States Army to serve for six months in the Philippines in 1945, where he spent the next six months fighting Japanese forces. After Japan signed the armistice to end World War II in the Pacific, Wren was assigned to liberate prisoners in Japan. After the war, he studied dairy manufacturing at Louisiana State University in the capital city of Baton Rouge. On the death of his father in 1952, he took over the family's Sanitary Dairy, at which he was as assistant manager, sales manager, general manager, and president for thirty-two years. Wren was named “Dairyman of the Year” in 1976
The Minden Press-Herald columnist Juanita Agan documented Wren's role in Sanitary Dairy. Other names in the dairy business in Minden were Sam Culbertson, James Kimbell "J. F." Gladney (1900-1975), Roy Donald "Don" Hinton, Sr. (1912-2011), Eugene H. Lumpkin, Sr. (1883-1959), Douglas Durwood Lunsford (1883-1938), and E. Leroy Miller. The new Sanitary Dairy, Mrs. Agan wrote, "started producing milk, buttermilk, and whipping cream. The pasteurized milk was known as Creamline milk as the cream rose to the top of the bottle. Some people poured the cream off for cereal and coffee cream. Later, half-and-half was processed for coffee and cereal." In 1979, Sanitary Dairy was sold to Beatrice Foods. In 1980, the Wren family purchased Music Mountain Water, which the Wren family still operates. The Minden Lions Club described Wren as "a great Christian, patriot (veteran of The Greatest Generation), family man, successful businessman, historian, and lover of his community. He was also one heck of a storyteller.” He was a United Methodist and is interred at Pine Grove Cemetery in Webster Parish.
Wren's wife, the former Mary Gay Stewart (1928-2011) was a daughter of James Russell Stewart (1894-1956) and a granddaughter of Webster Parish pioneer William G. Stewart, for whom the former Stewart Elementary School in west Minden was named. The couple had five surviving children, Marcus III, wife Liz; Stewart Wren, wife Joanie; Ellen, husband Bob (last name missing); Paul Lovic Wren, and Rusty Wren, wife Kathy; eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
- Marcus Dee Wren, Jr.. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on January 16, 2020.
- David Specht (January 15, 2020). Webster Parish icon Marcus Wren passes away at 95. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on January 16, 2020.
- Marcus Wren obituary. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on January 16, 2020.
- Juanita Louise Murphy Agan (1923-2008) (reprinted July 20, 2016). Sanitary Dairy: A million dollar a month business in Minden. The Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on January 16, 2020.
- Mary Gay Stewart Wren. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on January 16, 2020.