Longtime industry veteran, beloved rep for numerous industry brands, and friend of many, died Saturday, Jan. 19, apparently of a massive heart attack while skiing near his Michigan home.
Steve Bendzak, general manager for ExOfficio, shared the following with SNEWS®:
“It was a beautiful day as Marc Gmiter headed off to enjoy the fresh snow under his cross country skis on a favorite trail that he and Betsy enjoy near their home in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The temperature was a chilly five degrees. I can picture the smile that Marc spread across the terrain as he defied the chill and enjoyed the blurred vision that comes as cold air creates watering eyes. Icicle drops of joy from the tears no doubt graced the path he blazed like all days he has enjoyed on earth. Yes, Marc is no longer physically with us as I was informed early Sunday morning, January 20, by his love and best friend Betsy Borden.
Marc left home Saturday afternoon to enjoy what he knew to be the last adventure of fresh snow at home before he headed to Salt Lake City with Betsy to the Outdoor Retailer show. Little did either Marc or Betsy think that this adventure would be Marc's final celebration in nature and the pleasures of life on earth.
Gmitz'ger, as affectionately referred to by many, now lives on in our memories. Our friendship will endure and Marc would be happy to know that you too will do your best to enjoy life and make the most of your opportunities to enjoy the beauty of nature and friends whenever possible. Marc would also be honored if you would quench your thirst for life over a cold brewski at a comfortable and happy pub near or far with friends old and new.
Betsy wants you each to know that there is no doubt that Marc left his place on earth enjoying the outdoors and did so with a grin on his face. As she and Marc reflected on this past year they laughed with each other knowing that since their relationship began they have celebrated every night as if it were New Year’s Eve--toasting life and the surprises of the day while sharing in the pleasure of company and a meal together.
This sudden change in life is a painful reminder of how precious our lives are and how important we are to our loved ones. Please take the time to share your love and make your time with others meaningful.”
A private memorial will be scheduled for the family and an opportunity for friends to gather will be coordinated to take place in the next few weeks.
Letters and notes may be sent to Betsy and to Marc's daughters at: 327 Orchard Hill SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. A memorial fund for Marc Gmiter has been set up through friends at Eagle Creek and ExOfficio. Send donations to: Marc E. Gmiter Memorial Fund, Account 8103938299, La Salle Bank Midwest, 1750 Michigan St. N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
In addition to his wife, Betsy, Marc is survived by his former wife, Mary Gmiter, daughters Tanda Gmiter, Miriam Deering and Melea Gmiter, and two grandchildren.