Life Story / Obituary
Marty Sloan was a compassionate, driven, and hardworking man. Anything he put his mind to doing he gave his all! With a unique passion for cars and racing, Marty lived successfully owning his own repair business as well as racing competitively for many years. Genuine, kind-hearted, and outgoing, Marty was a stranger to none and a friend to all. There was no doubt that Marty was well respected by his family as well as the community he loved. Known for his infectious laughter and positive outlook on life, his warm nature will remain in the hearts of his loved ones to cherish forever.
The decade of the Sixties in America was marked by great social changes. Known as the era of optimism, this time was marked by the presidency of John F. Kennedy, hippies and psychedelic lifestyles, the black civil rights movement, and the music of The Beatles. At what appeared to be a Golden Age in our nation’s history, Robert “Bob” and Violet “Vi” Sloan welcomed into the world their newborn son, Marty, on March 28, 1960, at the Redford Community Hospital in Wayne County, Michigan. Joining his older sister, Cynthia, his birth brought them tremendous joy!
Growing up in Livonia, Marty lived a typical childhood of the times. Both of his parents worked outside the family home. His father was a well-known carpenter and his mother worked as a dental hygienist. With a large supply of tools nearby, it was no surprise that Marty would spend time experimenting with each and every one! At a very young age, he managed to figure out how to use the hydraulic jack moving the family car up and down over and over again! He and his dad remained close during these early years spending time tinkering as well as on the baseball diamond where his dad coached his Little League team. Living within walking distance from the Clarenceville schools he attended made Marty’s home an attractive place for his friends. Their backyard pool in the summer and their hockey rink each winter entertained them as active young men. As a young teen, Marty loved to play practical jokes on everyone and anyone, with his sister usually at the brunt of many jokes!
As a family, they enjoyed sailing together and everyone was responsible for ensuring their journey was safe and successful. As a result, Marty developed an insatiable fondness for the water that would last throughout his life. During high school, Marty’s love for mechanics grew stronger leading him to learn to operate a H.A.M. radio as well as occupy the family garage with one of several vehicles he worked on over the years! Once, his sister’s car was in rough shape and after having it into the dealer she was discouraged that it still was not fixed. Not only did Marty adjust the timing chain among other significant parts, when he was done, the car had never run better! After graduating with the Class of 1978, Marty attended a mechanical trade school while in high school and also worked for Mark’s Small Engine, a small engine repair shop in Northville. Anytime Marty wasn’t working, he was building racing engines and drag racing with his best friend, Dave Selvig. Before they knew it, they were living the dream and had professional sponsors with Ford Motor Company being one of them!
After years of being on the road racing and building a race team, Marty settled down by starting up his own small engine repair shop and sales, United Mower. The business grew to the point that Marty’s mother left the dental profession to come work for him. During its tenure, United Mower expanded to a sizable Stihl, Toro/Snapper, and Husqvarna dealer and became one of the largest Stihl dealers in south east Michigan. The business afforded him many pleasures in life, one of them being his home on Big Crooked Lake in Brighton. Here, he loved to entertain family and friends by both boating and skiing!
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the woman of his dreams, Gundi Parris! They shared a great love of the outdoors and spent their early years together as snowmobile enthusiasts. Marty asked Gundi to work for him as his mother could no longer help because of a car accident. Before they knew it, she was working at United Mower. Inseparable and happy, they joined in marriage on September 16, 2004. Not only did Marty gain a beautiful bride, he also gained a wonderful step-son Burt. With business increasing, he and Gundi were able to enjoy many vacations where they could satisfy their love of snowmobiling in the most northern remote areas of Ontario. They enjoyed visiting the beautiful beaches of Cozumel and Virginia, yet their most memorable trip together was to Germany. Although they loved to travel, holidays and family celebrations were clearly their favorites! He and Gundi wanted nothing more than to surround themselves with the people they loved. Marty was well known for choosing thoughtful gifts for his family and friends and Gundi was the best hostess!
There was never a dull moment with Marty! He liked to make each and every person he met feel welcome. It was typical to spend a great amount of time talking about vast topics where he was sure to lend his insight and wisdom. Charming as well as easy-going, Marty was a loyal friend to the countless lives he touched. He leaves behind a rich legacy of enjoying life to the fullest and selflessly giving so much of his time and resources over the years. May all who were lucky enough to know and love him be comforted by the wonderful collection of memories he made with each and every one of them. Gone too soon, Marty will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered forever.
Marty R. Sloan passed away August 15, 2018. Beloved husband of Gundi. Cherished step-father of Burt. A visitation will be held on Friday 12-2 pm with a Memorial service 2 pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Road, Livonia.