Richard Lee Marecek passed away peacefully in the morning hours of November 14th, 2020. He died of Covid-19 which he contracted after undergoing an emergency surgery which left him susceptible to the virus. Rich was born on April 17th, 1946 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. His beloved parents were Elsie Mae and Roman Sylvester. Rich looked up to his older brother, Raymond, and followed him everywhere, “it was as if he’d hung the moon,” his mother would say. Their childhood was filled with peanut butter & pickle sandwiches and neighborhood ball games. His family instilled values of kindheartedness, devotion to the church, a strong work ethic, and a joy for well-earned recreation. Rich attended Catholic High School and Christian Brothers College in Memphis, Tennessee where he studied mathematics and early computer programming. There, he met his first wife, Rickie, and had two children, Leigh and Roman. Rich worked for Bell Labs—frequently contracted by the US Department of Defense—which required him to move his family to strange and far-away places like North Dakota and the island of Kjwajalein in the Marshall Islands. Rickie and Rich separated, amicably, when the kids were still very young. Rich settled in Birmingham, Alabama at Bell South where—despite being a reserved man—he handily climbed the corporate ladder as a manager of large and high performing teams. He was a well-loved boss who made the daily grind of hundreds of his employees better in his various positions at Bell South, AT&T and, eventually, Alltel. Rich was a lifetime athlete who loved softball with his wilder friends (his team name was “Damifino” pronounced Damn-If-I-Know); golfing with his closest co-workers; and hiking with his dog on Oak Mountain. He even took up aerobics in the 1980s (and who didn’t?!) as the lone man amidst dozens of women, who were charmed by his gentle demeanor and dedication. Everywhere he went, he brought a soft-spoken kindness and quiet interest in others. While at AT&T, he met and married his wife of over 35 years, Nancy, to whom he was completely devoted. Together they eventually relocated to Stow, Ohio as Rich took what would be his last position in management. In retirement, Rich continued to spring out of bed to enjoy his morning coffee and Sudoku. According to Nancy, he took the task of solving puzzles as seriously as any job. And on the weekends, he watched his favorite team—the Arkansas Razorbacks—which he’d later deconstruct, play-by-play, with his brother, Ray, on their weekly Sunday night calls. No matter where he lived, Arkansas was always his home. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Marecek, who resides in Stow, Ohio, as well as, his brother Ray Marecek and his wife, Teresa, who live in Sherwood, Arkansas, and three nieces, who live in Arizona. His daughter, Leigh Marz, lives in Kensington, California with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Ava Zahara. His son, Roman Mars, resides in the neighboring town of Berkeley, California with his twin boys Mazlo and Carver. He also leaves behind his loyal, yellow lab, Charlie.
Rich’s gentle presence on this earth will be missed.
Visitation will be Thursday, November 19, 6-7pm followed by a Rosary at Smith North Little Rock Funeral home, 1921 Main St, in North Little Rock. Funeral will be Friday November 20, at 2pm at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in NLR. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in memory of Richard Marecek be sent to Guiding Eyes For The Blind.
State of AR COVID-19 directives: Face coverings required. Maintain social distancing.
Arrangements by Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114, 501-758-1170.
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