Obituary of Garry Arthur Markle
Garry Arthur Markle was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on August 5, 1961. The first-born son of Paul Arthur Markle and Roberta Mae (Harkness) Markle, Garry was a graduate of Woodmore High School in Woodville, Ohio. He furthered his studies at the University of Toledo where he participated in the Jazz and Marching Band all four years as a trumpet player. Garry even traveled with the band in support of the football team to the California Bowl to witness a UT win. He also was a students’ technician in the university computer services department which allowed him the opportunity to see how different people adapted to technology. He graduated in June of 1985 with a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Garry married the love of his life, the former, Barbara Louise Swanberg in Lima, Ohio on July 20, 1985. The couple were blessed with three children. For many years the family worshipped at First United Methodist Church, now Hope United Methodist Church in Monroe.
In June of 1987, he took a position at Spiratex, a plastic extrusion company, as a Plant Engineer. The founder, Hugh Archer, taught Garry the value of thinking outside the box. In December of 1994, he became Vice President and was elected to the Board of Directors. Garry stood 6’6” and even though he could have used his size to intimidate, he instead was a gentle giant, tender and nurturing. A man of few words he knew how to actually say a lot with a little. He believed that a person should, “Say what you do and do what you say”. He encouraged those within his company, “Don’t hesitate to contribute new ideas and don’t be afraid to question everything you do”. In 2016 he was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer. His responsibilities included the oversight of two plants one in Monroe and one in Romulus with 140 employees. He strived to visit each plant each day to stay in touch with people and process.
Garry always had a strong sense of community. In November of 2007, he became a member of the Monroe Exchange Club. He was a staunch supporter of the club’s mission, the prevention of child abuse, and he and Barb were very active in club events and generous with their resources. Garry served as club President in 2014-2015. For several years he participated with the Monroe County Community College Symphony Band. He was also very involved in the local business community and being a part of the Vistage Group. A networking organization for Southeastern Michigan CEO's and business owners.
Garry was a trivia guru because of his understanding on many subjects. He often joked with his dry sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye about his useless knowledge. He never took life for granted and looked to help others wherever he could. He loved music and especially kicking his feet up to some smooth jazz with his favorite artist being Maynard Ferguson. Garry lived a full life. He loved his work and the people he worked with. Although work was important to him it did not define him. He worked very hard to provide for his family and created an unbelievable life for them. Garry and Barb enjoyed traveling, with National Parks being a favorite destination. They were looking forward to an African Safari in January of 2024. He enjoyed being a grandfather of four, although he told his children he expected nine.
In 1987, Garry began a masters program, but in that same year he also bought his first boat. The boat won his attention and the masters program was never completed. Many wonderful memories were made on Lake Erie until a cottage was purchased in the Irish Hills at Lake Leann in 2007. Garry’s passion for the water even led his brother David to purchase a boat as well. As a hobby, Garry enjoyed looking at real estate. In 2019, the couple were able to fulfill his lifelong dream by purchasing a condo in Sand Key, Florida.
Garry Arthur Markle, age 62, of Monroe passed away at his home under the care of Arbor Hospice on Friday; January 26, 2024. His passing was preceded by his parents.
To cherish his memory he leaves his beloved wife: Barbara Louise Markle of Monroe; three children: Sarah (Michael) Rivet of Northville, Michigan, Brian (Leah) Markle of Erie, Michigan, and Andrew Markle of Belleville, Michigan; a brother: David (Brenda) Markle; sister-in-law: Sallie (Pat) Sweeney; and two brothers-in-law: Carl (Kathy) Swanberg and Paul (Stephanie) Swanberg; four grandchildren: Cameron, Benjamin, and Wesley Rivet and Noelle Markle; and ten nieces and nephews.
Friends may gather from 12:00pm until 7:00pm on Friday; February 2, 2024, at Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe; 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162 (734) 384-5185. A Celebration of His Life will take place at 11:00am on Saturday; February 3, 2024, also at Merkle’s with Pastor James Jacobs officiating. Procession will follow to Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to CDLS (Cornelia DeLange Syndrome Foundation) www.cdlsusa.org/donate/ in support of his granddaughter: Noelle who was diagnosed with CDLS shortly after her birth in 2020. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.