Life Story Services
Friday, July 22, 2022
12:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
A lunch at the Paw Paw Eagles Club on M-40 will be held following the Life Story Services. Please bring a dish to pass.
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.
Directly to the family
Checks may be made out directly to Diane Marcum.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Hardworking and loyal, Terry Marcum was a good friend and was known for his dedication to his family. While he was active and outgoing, always keeping himself busy, he could also be thoughtful and quiet, making time for countryside motorcycle cruises and embodying the well-known quote that, “It is not about the destination, it’s about the journey”. He treasured the fact that his life’s journey centered around his beloved family and friends.
Terry was born to Jim and Ava Marie Marcum on March 11, 1962 in Gary, Indiana. Terry joined his older brother Tom making it a family of 4. Gary was an industrial town, and Jim made his living working in the steel mill. Ava Marie managed the home while trying to keep the boys out of trouble as much as possible. Terry in particular made this a challenge. He maintained his mischievous streak through his teen years. After high school he worked as a delivery person in the Chicago area, and then moved to Michigan where he worked as a printer for several years. His little brother Jason joined the family at this time making the Marcum family a party of 5. He eventually got a job at American Axle in Three Rivers in 2010.
Through the years, ups and downs came along. Job changes, divorce, and new acquaintances shifted the course of Terry’s life. One of his friends during this time was a widow named Diane Hessey. They shared common interests and got along well. In time it became clear that they were good match for each other, and Terry and Diane married on September 5, 1992.
Diane had two young children; Shelly was eight and Billy was six. Terry loved the children as his own while still respecting their father’s legacy in their lives. With that in mind, he never adopted them, wanting them to keep their father’s last name and always respecting his memory. He and Diane had two additional children, Renee and Melissa. Terry would do anything for Diane and the kids and worked hard at being the best husband, father and later grandfather.
As his friends and family knew, Terry loved his motorcycles, and he had owned several over the years, most recently collecting eleven different bikes including a 1928 Indian Scout. His favorite ever was an Indian Chief which he owned back when he and Diane had first started dating. Terry had a wonderful circle of riding friends and would plan an annual trip for up to twenty riders. Always enjoying the process of selecting their route, food, and lodging. He liked looking for new routes, preferably on back roads. Despite his extensive travel experiences, Terry’s heart stayed close to home. His favorite place to visit was the Lake Michigan shoreline at South Haven. He found peace there, a place to contemplate and wonder in the unique and beautiful surroundings.
Although Terry joked that his motorcycles were the most important thing in his life, it was obvious that he put family first. Everything he and Diane decided was through the lens of what was best for the children. He figured out a way for the kids to ride in a sidecar on his motorcycle, thrilling them with wheelies and encouraging them to follow their own passions. Terry would be at every practice, every game and every competition his children participated in. He would work a ten hour day and then drive an hour and a half to watch the activities, never missing one.
When the kids got older and started making life-changing decisions, Terry always took time to share his advice even as he reminded them that they should always take advice with a grain of salt. As the family grew, so did Terry’s heart, and he treasured each and every grandchild. Terry loved being a grandfather and cherished every visit and video call he received.
Terry and Diane mostly just enjoyed being together and had a few regular activities that were favorites for them. Terry had season tickets for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Western Michigan, and he and Diane loved going to concerts, especially at the State Theatre in Kalamazoo. Although he liked different styles of music, Terry was partial to soul and blues.
Terry has left a lasting legacy for those who knew him best, especially for his children and grandchildren. He and Diane had a relationship built on friendship first, and it was a solid foundation for their thirty-year marriage, providing their kids with a sense of security and a great example. He taught them what it meant to work hard and showed them that love sometimes means sacrifice. They will always carry thoughts of his frequent advice. They will always carry the blessing of knowing how proud he was of them. They will always carry the memory of his voice saying, “I love you,” at the end of every phone conversation.
Terry died suddenly on July 2, 2022, in London, England, while visiting his daughter.
Members of Terry’s family include his wife Diane; his four children: Shelly (Javier) Cavazos, Billy (Heather) Berkey, Renee (Lucas) Hoover, and Melissa (Chase) Varnedoe; six grandchildren: Victoria, Levi, Gabriella, Gianna, Javier, and Alina; two brothers, Tom (Pam) Marcum and Jason Marcum; his mother Ava Marie; and many other relatives and friends.
Life Story services will be held at noon on Friday, July 22, 2022, at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service and at a reception at the Paw Paw Eagles Club. Burial will be at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park. Visit Terry’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories and photos and to sign his online guestbook before attending the funeral. Memorial contributions may be made to the family.