Michael Sylvester Marx
Michael Sylvester Marx of Avondale, Arizona passed away on December 1, 2020. He was born to Ida and George Marx on July 12, 1946 in Boise, Idaho. Mike lost his father at the young age of 4 and at the age of 11, his family moved to Orange, California. He joined the surfing community where he cultivated his love of all water sports and expanded this love to the local lakes and Colorado River through boating and camping adventures.
After graduating from Orange High in 1964, he attended Orange Coast College and applied to Aunt Jemima’s at Disneyland. Little did he know that working for the Disney Organization would be his life-long career. Michael worked in practically every aspect of Onstage Disneyland Operations: Food, Merchandise, Attractions, Custodial, and Main Street, the Parking Lot, and Circle D. He quickly moved up the ladder leaving his personal mark along the way.
The first time he met Walt Disney, Mike called him “Mr. Disney,” to which Walt replied, “My name is Walt.” Major projects were numerous and included: Hungry Bear Restaurant, Aladdin’s Oasis, New Fantasyland, Alice in Wonderland, Big Thunder Railroad, Main Street Lockers and countless rehabs. He was honored to host many celebrities and dignitaries, such as Presidents Ronald Reagan and HW Bush. Michael had a distinguished career of 35 years with the Disney Organization.
It was during these years that this Disney guy met his Disney girl, Illene Barranger, and married her on March 18, 1979. They welcomed a red-haired daughter, Megan, in 1985. Together, they all enjoyed River vacations, Disney and family experiences.
In 2000, Michael and his family left Disney and California behind and moved to Arizona, where both sets of parents lived. For 4 years he was Director of Operations for Skeeball in Phoenix. He left Skeeball when the organization moved all operations back East. He then coordinated Maintenance at El Dorado of Sun City. He was the gadget man…the one everyone called to fix their TV’s, remotes, and wifi, etc., as well as handling all maintenance concerns. He left El Dorado in 2013. His last job was at Westbrook Village Golf Course before officially retiring from the workforce in 2017.
Michael enjoyed golfing with his friends, riding his beloved Harley with his wife and members of the “Live to Ride, Ride to Eat” gang, Spring training season, and becoming an Apple and Tech Geek. He so enjoyed being able to help build the Arizona West K9 Support Center and assisting with their fundraising events. He loved spending time with his “Grands” whether it was at church activities, fishing, school events, birthday celebrations, or car adventures. For the last few years, he especially enjoyed camping in the 5th wheel with many trips to Tombstone and the Old West in Southern Arizona. He loved his travels to Ireland and Scotland; the simplicity, beauty, and history at every turn. He was a grilling and smoking chef, who kept his Weber and GMG busy for hours feeding family and friends.
Michael leaves behind a legacy of hard work, wonderful memories, a loving family and many friends. He was a man of faith who worked in his callings within the Bishopric and his Corte Sierra Ward in the LDS church.
He is survived by his loving wife, Illene Marx; daughter Megan Marx (Mike); sisters Pat Marx and Joann Wattier; grandchildren: TJ, Tyson, Angel, Zackeriah, and Brooklyn; special family members Jill and Jason Reed and Leticia and Robert Gonzales; Uncle Reed and Aunt Janet Alderman; many cousins, nieces, and nephews in Utah, Montana, Arizona and Virginia. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Ida and George Marx, and his step-father Gene Ford.
Services are private. His ashes will be returned home.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Arizona West K9 Support Center.