Gary Lee Marquardt, Retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer left us peacefully in his sleep on Friday, February 21, 2014 to go and command the great submarine races in the sky.
Gary was born in Antioch, California in 1941 to Bill & Helen Marquardt. He had a very adventurous childhood full of laughter, camping, boating, boy scouts, family outings & all of the things that a young man could ever desire....except for a toy train & track set like the one his little brother Kerry had.
Gary attended Antioch High School where he was involved in numerous activities, some to include football, track, concert band, orchestra and he was the photographer for the school yearbook/newsletter. He was also the Captain of the diving team where legend has it that he once dove in, hitting his head on the bottom of the pool resulting in the bald spot on the top of his head.
After graduating high school in 1959, Gary enlisted in to the US Navy where he underwent recruit training and by virtue of his demonstrated attention to duty, military conduct, responsiveness to orders, cooperation, loyalty & comradeship he was selected as the Honor Man of Recruit Company 563 in February of 1960. Over the next 30 years he was stationed in San Diego, California, where he served on the USS Epperson &USS Philip. He then transferred to Vallejo, California and on to Great Lakes, IL then over to the Naval Submarine base in New London Ct where he served on the USS Will Rogers, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Sargo & the USS Blueback. From there he transferred with his family (Shirley Lee & their 3 daughters) to Hawaii for 5 years & then back to the mainland where he carried out the remainder of his duties back in San Diego, California.
During this time of honorable service to his country Gary earned the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea), Navy Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (with 2 bronze stars), Battle Efficiency "E" Award, Polaris Patrol Pin with 1 Silver Star & 2 gold stars & good conduct medal (fifth award) & too many others to list. Gary was an exemplary sailor and this was duly noted on each of his many Performance Evaluations. An Eval dated 6/2/1971 stated, "Petty Officer Marquardt does NOT make mistakes". If you knew Gary then you knew this to be true. Gary was accomplished in many areas, his scuba diving certification opened many doors, some of which led him to work with NASA on Apollo space capsule rescue missions. He was also in the elite group, "Frogmen", known nowadays as The Navy Seals. He traveled the world & crossed the equator several times being found worthy to be numbered as one of the trusty Shellbacks & duly initiated into the solemn mysteries of the ancient order of the deep. He was granted safe passage on many occasions by Davey Jones & Neptunis Rex, "Ruler of the Raging Main". Gary fully retired from the Navy with Honors as Chief Fire Control Technician (gunfire) in May 1989.
After retiring, Gary went on to teach Electronics at various Technical Schools. Since retiring from the "Civilian Sector" Gary has gone on several sailing adventures proving that you can take the sailor away from the ocean but you cannot take the ocean out of the sailor. He has spent the past few years at home in the care of his loving and attentive wife Lilian whom we are eternally grateful for. Gary was & always will be a Hero of Men.
Gary was preceded in death by his father Bill, his beloved mother Helen & his baby brother Kerry Dale. Gary leaves behind his beautiful bride of 28 years, Lilian Marquardt; three Daughters & one Son, Debbie Zack (Dennis), Rebecca Marshall (Sherman), Michelle Young (Terry) and Jason Uecker (Bobbi); 14 grandchildren and 2 1/2 great- grandchildren.
At this time there are no "formal" services planned and at a later date, upon his wishes, his ashes will be scattered at Sea. We will notify family and friends of his Naval Honors Service to be held in San Diego, California.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation in his name to the Veterans Charity of your choice.