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Marshall Dennis Gladchun
  • 67 years old
  • Date of birth: May 5, 1947
  • Place of birth:
    Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • Date of passing: Nov 26, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Portsmouth, Rhode Island, United States
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

     Marshall D. Gladchun, 67, died peacefully at home in Portsmouth, RI, November 26, 2014. Son of Michael and Betty Jean (Marshall), he was born May 5, 1947 in Detroit, MI. A proud and supportive father and grandfather, he is survived by his three loving sons, Matthew Marshall, Jeffrey Dennis (Alyssa), and Michael Frederick (Leah), his 5 grand children and his former wife, Debra Gladchun. Also survived by a brother, Michael Gladchun (Mary), of Plymouth, MI and a sister Cheryl Cremer (Gus) of Chelsea, MI and their children Kara, Alisa and Eric.
     He was devoted to his sons’ lives, providing unconditional support to their interests and endeavors. An accomplished entrepreneur, Marshall progressed over a thirty year career from an hourly temp on the factory floor to the boardroom as President & CEO of a privately held tier 1 automotive supply company. Under his leadership and through his vision and strategy, the company grew five-fold during his tenure, earning him acknowledgement as a 1998 Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. An avid sportsman, he was passionate about sailing & golf. He successfully campaigned a number of grand prix sailing teams on the Great Lakes and the East Coast, providing opportunities to many sailors and friends along the way. In his later years, slowed by deteriorating health, his spirit remained strong as he audaciously strove to maintain his independence. His heart remained filled with love and pride for his children and grandchildren.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Paul Biegansky on 21st December 2014

"Working almost 10 years for Marshall in the automotive supplier business, I learned to appreciate him for his trust in people, as a great strategic thinker and communicator, and his readiness to accept a good risk to make a better gain. When Opel decided to take a less than casual look at our company for the Astra roof rack, as our first european business opportunity, he immediately came off the golf course, jumped on the next plane from Detroit to join us at Opel Ruesselsheim the very next morning, and the job was ours.
The confidence in his people, his humor and team spirit made my time with him the most enjoyable in my professional career."

This tribute was added by nicole mather on 21st December 2014

"Wanted to share my condolences for the passing of Marshall.  I am Paul and Marianne's daughter Nicole and we just found out about your loss.  I'm really sorry.  I was a young teenager at the time but I remember meeting him and remembering what a nice and social man he was.  My Dad spoke very fondly of him.  I hope you find support and love from close family and friends.  All the best.  - nicole (aka nicky biegansky)"

This tribute was added by Jeff Perry on 6th December 2014

"Marshall, so many memories. As a 6th grader I remember when he showed up at Fort Gratiot Middle School with Matt at our first day of flag football practice in the red RX-7. I thought that was the coolest vehicle at that time. Little did I know Marshall and his family would be an important part in my life. Marshall seemed bigger than life. You could see the confidence and strength in which he carried his persona. At that time I did not know who or what he was about. I got to know a lot about this man over the course of my life and the opportunities he would give me. I got to know a man who knew what he wanted and when he wanted them. I got to know a man who took great pride in his family, an elder son who was a "star" athlete in football in basketball (he never missed a game) the pride he took in watching him excel on the field and in the way he reminded him of himself, the second son a free-spirit who challenged Marshall in many way but found such pride in who he wished he could have been as a younger man, a youngest son who was driven to be the best at hockey and a way to make good friends and keep them close (of which I think Marshall wanted those type of friendships). Marshall was driven to succeed at an early age. I had the honor of being a welcome staple at Mr and Mrs. G's home on many days. I saw a man who worked long and hard hours, a man constantly working to better the opportunities for his family. A man who put at times what he would have wanted to give others what he did not have. It came at a cost, at times more expensive than what he probably wanted but it is what he believed to be best. I had the opportunity to sail with Marshall on Patriot on the Great Lakes. Little did I know that I would find my business mentor, one who gave me an heir of confidence and strength in management and leadership that serves me well to this day. As a young man just graduated from high school I spent many summer as a crew member for Patriot and Marshall. I got to see and do many things that not many get to experience. Marshall always took care of us (crew members) with the best gear and we competed hard for him as did the people that worked for him. We believed in what his goals were. We raced hard because that is what he expected, he relished the victories and hated the losses, he was an ultra competitor. I was able to race in the J-35 nationals with him in Toronto, Canada. I was the mast man he was in the "hot-box", he took in the slack that I gave him. On the first day we had three races, the first race we had some crazy tacking duels. When we rounded the mark to go downwind I hoisted the spinnaker and Marshall was discussing tactics and not tailing the slack line. The wind inflated the spinnaker and the line shot through my hands and I yelled at him to take in the line. I had serious rope burn and he knew he had not done what was expected. This was when I took what he had taught me early on and confronted him later that day. As we came into the Royal Yacht Club he and I talked. He put his arm around me and we talked. It was after the talk I learned the true spirit of Marshall. He took me arm around my shoulder, apologized for what had happened but also talked about the times in life when individuals have expectations of others and that they don't always meet them or live up to the expectations. His comments were about what we perceive to be real and what the reality of perception was. It may sound trivial but to me it was profound. I spent that weekend and others learning more of where he came from and who he was at that time. He was the American story, he worked hard, took chances, became an uber-success. I remember the Gladchuns at my father's showing when he passed at an early age, I remember Marshall's hug, not much was said but I felt it, what he was really trying or not trying to say. Without know much of all the details nor wanting to know all of them after the Port Huron exit, I have nothing but fond memories of Marshall.  I can't say all were positive as are none of our loved ones but they are all good memories. I know through seeing pictures with his family and especially grandchildren, he was proud of his sons. He left a legacy that will be remembered. Marshall I will miss you. I am sorry I never told you of the impact you had on my life. Thank you for being you in good and bad. May all who knew you remember what you did for family and the communities that you impacted. Gladchun family I feel your pain, I know it is tough but always remember that strength, that wonderful laugh and pride he had. Thank you all for accepting me and thank you for sharing your loved ones with me."

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This memorial is administered by:

Debra Gladchun
Jeff Gladchun
Matt Gladchun
Michael Gladchun


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