Joseph Hendrick Marley

Published 10:31 am Friday, June 29, 2012

(Written by Joseph Marley upon hearing of his diagnosis.)
Once I wasn’t.
Then I was.
Now I am not.

Joseph Hendrick Marley

Joseph Hendrick Marley passed away on June 26, 2012 in Spartanburg, S.C. He was born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Deutschland on Dec. 23, 1946. He came to America with his mother in July 1956 to live with his stepfather (Joe) in Carolina Beach, N.C. He attended the fourth grade at Carolina Beach Elementary School, not speaking English. Being a vivacious boy, Joseph (also known as Sepp to his German relatives) quickly mastered English.
Living at the beach as the surfing craze hit the east coast, Joseph immersed himself in the craze. He worked at the east coast surfboard shop for Lank Lancaster and Harold Petty. He also was on the surfing team for the shop, surfing in contests up and down the east coast.
Joseph was drafted in the Army as an alien (not an American citizen) during the height of the Vietnamese War. The Army could not send a non-citizen to war zones, so they chose to send Joseph to Korea. In Korea, Joseph undertook the option to become an American citizen. He was given a choice to go to a federal court in either Guam or Hawaii. Naturally, being an avid surfer, Joseph chose Hawaii. He became a U.S. citizen in 1968.
Honorably discharged from the Army in 1968, Joseph pursued an engineering degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. Upon graduating from ERAU, Joseph went to work for then Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin, as a reliability/maintainability engineer until his retirement in December 2006.
Lockheed Martin gave Joseph an opportunity to work and live in Germany as a technical representative on the Pershing Missile System. He enjoyed Germy snow skiing, driving without limits on the autobahn and, of course, beer. He had a life-changing experience when he met his true love and future wife, Katie. They skied in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France. They traveled to Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus and Spain.
Upon returning to the U.S., Joseph and Katie continued to travel to various places, eventually discovering their retirement home in Saluda.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Saluda Center, 64 Greenville Street, Saluda, N.C. 28773, or to The Church of the Advocate, 60 Church Street, Asheville, N.C. 28801.

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