At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
International Elephant Foundation
PO Box 366
Azle, TX 76098
Life Story / Obituary
Deeply committed to his family, Tony Marra’s life will be remembered as both loving and selfless. Born with a warm personality and listening ear, he was a confidant to his family. Equipped with a strong work ethic, Tony had many successes throughout his life. Although he will be deeply missed, Tony leaves behind a rich collection of wonderful memories for all who knew and loved him.
Tony enjoyed a wonderful childhood filled with many childhood friends and fond memories. Typical of a Sicilian household, he was raised Catholic and was fortunate to live in a neighborhood with other Sicilians. Tony was always proud of his heritage and dreamed of visiting his parents’ hometown of Carlentini, Siracusa, Sicily. As a young boy, he practiced as an altar server and never missed Mass with his family. An extremely talented athlete, he also enjoyed sports. Among the many sports he excelled in were baseball and golf. Not to be forgotten was the meeting of Glenda Jackson at the age of fourteen, the woman who would steal his heart forever! Inseparable from the start, they joined in marriage as young teenagers on August 3, 1952. With her outgoing personality and his quiet demeanor, they were the perfect match for each other. A deeply loving couple, together they raised two wonderful sons, David and Daniel.
As parents, they were committed to ensuring the best for their boys. They raised them with a strong Catholic upbringing and instilled in them the value of a close-knit family. Always willing to appease, Tony brought home their first family dog, Shadow, who shared many years around the Marra household. When the boys were young, the family relocated to California to be closer to Glenda’s mother. Tony landed a job as a color specialist for International Paper and worked hard to provide for his growing family. They shared these years on the baseball diamonds and football fields. Tony loved coaching his boys and always held a calm presence even during their most competitive moments. He was proud to share his love of baseball with the boys and teach them the skills he had learned. His favorite place to be was managing his baseball teams and cheering them on from the dugout and sharing in their many successes. His kids always knew dad was there to support them in their many endeavors. Tony was always willing to listen and offer guidance as they grew and eventually were on their own. Tony and Glenda doted on their grandchildren, Damon and Devin, and were wonderfully supportive and loving grandparents for many years. They were Tony’s “second set” of sons.
Tony played just as hard as he worked. He enjoyed playing countless rounds of golf in the California sun. In one of those rounds, he scored a hole-in-one and cherished the trophy for that achievement. Later in life, Tony and Glenda took an interest in motorcycles. The boys used to beg them for mini-bikes and Tony always said no, so it was quite a surprise when he purchased one. Their love of motorcycling was the start of many friendships with other riders who shared trips locally or from state to state. A highlight was riding up the coast of California into Canada. Tony later took over the property in Montana from his parents. He and Glenda enjoyed many summers there enjoying the incredible panoramic view of the valley. Tony fell in love with boating on one of the largest lakes in Montana and enjoyed sharing this slice of Heaven with his family.
Though quiet by nature, Tony came alive in a social environment. He genuinely loved people and listening to their stories. Any time that he was surrounded by his good friends or family, his heart was content. His positive outlook made him easy to be around, and he made everyone feel special in his presence. It is hard to believe that he had survived a five-way bypass surgery in his 60s. He faced every challenge with courage and perseverance. Tony lived his life to the fullest. Sadly, he is gone. May the wisdom he shared and the kindness he modeled be passed on for generations to come.
Antonino Marra Jr. (Tony), age 88, died on September 30, 2023, in Portage, Michigan. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Glenda; and son, Daniel. He is survived by his son, David (Anne) Marra; 2 grandsons: Damon (Rebecca) and Devin (Alba); and 1 great-grandchild: Jace. Visit Tony’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, or sign his guestbook. Memorial donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.