Marriott family suffers a loss, with executive’s death at 54 -- Gazette.Net


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The Montgomery County business community mourned the death Sunday of Stephen G. Marriott of Potomac, an executive at the Bethesda hotel company that bears his family’s name.

Companies such as Marriott are like extended families in themselves, and the Marriott firm is incredibly dedicated to the Montgomery County community, Georgette Godwin, president and CEO of the county’s chamber of commerce, said Monday.

The deepest condolences of the county’s business community go out to the Marriott family, she said.

“We’re all so deeply saddened by their loss,” Godwin said.

Godwin said she didn’t know Marriott well, but had met him numerous times over the years.

Jeannette Mendonca, executive director of Hospice Caring in Gaithersburg, where Marriott served on the board of trustees, said his service meant a lot to the organization.

“Hospice Care is saddened by the news of the loss of Steve Marriott to the community,” Mendonca wrote in a statement Tuesday. “His support as a trustee with Hospice Caring will long be remembered.”

Marriott, 54, died Sunday after suffering from degenerative mitochondrial disease, according to a release issued Monday by Marriott International.

He is survived by his wife, Juliana; three children; his parents, J.W. Marriott Jr. and Donna Marriott; two brothers; a sister; and five grandchildren.

In the company’s statement, Marriott’s father, the executive chairman of the company, praised his son’s courage in the face of his illness.

“Stephen was an inspiration to us every day as he struggled with a challenging disease that cost him his eyesight and hearing, and he never complained. He came to work right until the end to champion the values that his grandparents established when they opened their first root beer stand. ... His wife and children will remember his ability to find joy and happiness, despite his daily hardships.”

His working life started in 1975 as a cook at a Roy Rogers restaurant in Bethesda, according to the company’s release.

In college, he worked at the front desk and in housekeeping at various Marriott properties, as well as in marketing and accounting before graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in English from Brigham Young University in 1983.

After earning a master’s of business administration degree from Arizona State University, he worked his way up through the family’s international hotel chain, beginning in 1985 as a sales manager at a Marriott resort and golf club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Marriott most recently worked as the head of Marriott Worldwide Business Councils, with responsibility for maintaining the company’s core values and culture in its various locations.

He also was involved in community activities. He served on the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the board of directors for the American Foundation for the Blind, which named him a recipient of the Helen Keller Achievement Award in 2008, according to the company statement. He also served on the boards of the American Speech, Hearing and Language Association Foundation, and the National Institutes of Deafness and Communication Disorders. Marriott also was a member of the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation board and the board of the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities.

Visiting hours are scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Gawler’s Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., Washington. The funeral is scheduled for noon Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10000 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, www.boyscouts-ncac.org.

rmarshall@gazette.net