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March 9, 2020
Stanley Joseph Marsik, age 92, of Marysville, died Monday, March 9, 2020 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was married to his wife, Zdenka (later changed to Jessie), 68 years at the time of her death in 2016. He was a retired research physicist with NASA at Lewis Research Center, now called NASA John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland (1965 – 1988). At the age of 38, he earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Physics from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Marysville. Stanley was born August 6, 1927 in a rural village in Bohemia (Czech Republic) to the late Anna and Josef Marsik. At the age of 21, he and four other schoolmates commenced publishing underground leaflets, distributing them to not only small towns, but also in Prague, to educate the public regarding the dangers of the Communist takeover of their country in February 1948. The police were most upset about this clandestine activity, and soon the search was on to arrest these political activists. One of these five students soon paid for his participation with his life. Stanley was one of the other four who were able to escape their homeland by foot into exile. Several weeks after arriving at a camp for displaced persons in (the then West) Germany, Stanley and another fellow came up with a risky plan to retrieve their sweethearts from their homeland. They successfully stole back into their country and somehow got word to their sweethearts. After enduring several days of intense intrigue (which included the four of them being smuggled back over the border hiding in a crate for twelve hours inside a Dutch freight truck), they were relieved to make it across the border, heading for another displaced persons camp run by the International Refugee Organization. Stanley and Jessie were married in a refugee camp in Italy a few months later. In 1949 they were allowed to immigrate to Canada, joining a large Czech community in Chatham, Ontario. Five years later, Stanley, Jessie, and their two small daughters were allowed to immigrate to the USA (their ultimate goal) where their third daughter was born. Stanley published a memoir in 2000 which describes these events in more detail. Stanley was a devoted husband and father. He planned several long summer vacations where he took his small family to all corners of the USA. Among his hobbies, he was particularly interested in photography. He built himself a darkroom in their home and enjoyed developing his own pictures. He collected family archives and created a thorough genealogy of his and his wife’s family, despite not being allowed to return to his homeland for forty years after his escape. He was also active in the Czech community in Cleveland, where the family settled in 1965, upon his employment with NASA. In addition to his parents, Stanley was preceded in death by his wife, Jessie (Vaclavkova) Marsik; and his siblings, Bozena Vyhnalova, Libuse Starkova and Oldrich Marsik. He is survived by three daughters, Jessie Wilson, Margie Rundell, and Deb Phillips; his loving granddaughters Jennifer Wilburn, Valerie (Brian) Tommasone, Carin (Nick) Johnson, Meagan (Adam) Silva, Chelsea (Mike) Roy, Michelle (Andrew) Russ, and Jenny (Paul) Adkins; ten great-grandchildren Jon, Jacqueline, Kassandra, Vincent, Skylar, Evan, Zachary, Eliza, Abigail, and Asa; his sister, Marie Hronova; and many nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 8 to 10 a.m., Saturday, March 14, 2020 at Underwood Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Rev. Fr. Kevin J. Kavanagh will officiate. Graveside services will be held following the Mass at 1 p.m. at Riverside Cemetery in Troy, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Union County Loving Care Hospice, 779 London Avenue P.O. Box 613, Marysville OH 43040.
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