Michael J. McNamara, age 72, of Marion, died Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at Riverside Methodist Hospital following a brief illness.
On September 10, 1945, Michael was born in Marion, Ohio, the youngest of three children to the late Dr. John A. and Emma (Ewald) McNamara. He grew up in Marion County, attended Marion Catholic High School and graduated in 1963.
Continuing his education, Michael earned his undergraduate degree in 1967 from St. Michael’s College in Santa Fe, NM, and his master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1972. He spent a year abroad in 1967-68 traveling through Australia and New Zealand.
Michael and Mary Jane Lindeman were married on November 2, 1968, and would have celebrated their fiftieth anniversary this fall.
Having varied interests, Michael worked in several fields throughout his life. He started his career in Michigan working for GE. After graduating from CWRU, Michael worked for the State of Ohio’s Department of Health, where he helped develop the WIC program. In 1977, Michael and his family returned to Marion, to establish the retail outlet for the McNamara family’s Riffle Creek Farms: Riffle Creek Meats. Finding success, he opened Hilltop Market in Bucyrus. In the mid-80’s, Michael returned to the state and worked with the Department of Agriculture. Michael and Jane also owned and operated Alco from1981 until 2016.
Michael contributed his time and talents to his community and worthy causes, and was involved in numerous clubs and organizations throughout his life. While living in Marion, Michael was a member of St. Mary Church, where he served on both the Parish Council and St. Mary School Board. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, 4th degree. Michael was a member of the boards of the American Red Cross, Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, and MARCA Industries. Michael was also committed to the late 80’s restoration of the Harding Hotel through his work with Marion HAND.
An avid bicyclist, Michael biked everywhere he could for many years whether commuting, traveling or supporting efforts like the 500 mile Heartland AIDSRide. Michael enjoyed entertaining and cooking, whether in the kitchen or over the grill.
Throughout his life, Michael traveled as often as he could and felt that meeting local people was the best way to experience new places. His favorite destination was Ireland, where he immersed himself in the culture by walking, bicycling and driving around the countryside. He enjoyed the outdoors, and was a long-time member of the Rock and River Fishing Club.
Michael McNamara was an approachable, out-going person who enjoyed people. He was creative, expressing his ideas and reflections through both his writings and yard art. Willing to provide support to friends, family and associates, Michael encouraged and fortified them through sharing his knowledge, experiences, observations, and acceptance.
Michael will be dearly missed by his wife, Mary Jane Lindeman McNamara of Marion; two children: Erin (Douglas) Longhitano of Columbus, and Ian (Julie) McNamara of Marion; five grandsons: Ted, William, and Peter Longhitano, and Ethan and Jude McNamara; a sister, Angel (Henry) Krigbaum of Bemidji, MN; a sister-in-law, Sara McNamara; and several nieces and nephews.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Megan McNamara in 1986; and brother John “Jack” McNamara.
Calling hours will be held from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, GUNDER/HALL Chapel, 347 W. Center St., Marion. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018, at St. Mary Church, 251 N. Main St., Marion, with Father Thomas Buffer officiating. Burial will take place at a later date in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Marion County Board of Developmental Disabilities, 2387 Harding Hwy E., Marion, OH 43302, or a charity of the contributor’s choice.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to serve Michael’s family and your condolences may be shared with them via www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.