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Brian Wayne Marler, 58, of Vandalia, passed away Thursday, October 19, 2023 at his home. He was born to John and Florinda Marler on January 22, 1965 in Cordell, Oklahoma. Brian was a member of the Christian Life Center in Dayton, where he served as a board member for the Joseph House.
As the son of a military family, Brian grew up in a variety of places, including Maryland, Yakota and Okinawa (Japan), Germany, and Texas. He played youth baseball in Maryland and learned to enjoy bowling at age 13 while his family lived in Germany.
In 1983, Brian graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt Science and Technology Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he lettered for three years as a member of the school's golf team and was the captain of the varsity golf team in his senior year.
At the age of 17, Brian won the Virginia-Maryland District Junior Bowling Association's Scratch Invitational Tournament, establishing him as the top young bowler in Virginia and Maryland. The victory entitled him to represent both states in the 1983 Coca-Cola National Junior Bowling Championship, where he rolled in competition against other young bowlers from across the US and Canada.
Brian began college at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and continued his studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He married his wife Andrea, née Campbell, in 1989 and the couple settled in the Dayton area, where in time they greeted sons Christopher and Austin. In 1994, he completed a bachelor's degree in Business Management/Operational Communications at Wright State University in Dayton. In his professional life, he held numerous positions in the course of a 30-year career with FedEx in Vandalia, Ohio.
Brian was a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and also greatly enjoyed golf. As assistant coach, head coach, or manager, he guided each of his two sons along with other boys on youth baseball and football teams such as the Warrior Baseball Club. The annual coaches' flag football game was a moment when his fiercely competitive spirit was on display. An avid supporter of his young sons' soccer passions, he later played indoor soccer alongside them in the adult coed recreational league in Fairborn. Another source of satisfaction for him on his own time was working with cars and motorcycles. Apart from his hobby of maintaining a series of sports cars, his attention to detail and mechanical know-how allowed him to maintain a 1993 Honda Accord for over 300,000 miles.
While he had been raised in the Christian faith, several years ago he made a deliberate committment to a personal relationship with God. His faith bore fruit in his volunteer work as a teacher and mentor to persons in a local rehabilitation and recovery program.
Brian was known as a highly competitive personality who pursued athletic excellence in various forms and who loved all sorts of sports and games, chess and backgammon among them. He had an often devilish sense of humor while also being an unapologetic master of the dad joke. He had an unusual affinity for animals: small creatures like wasps, bees, spiders, butterflies, crawdads, snakes, and geckos would approach him and he could handle them as though they were tame. Those who knew him found him ever generous with his time and assistance to anyone who turned to him for help.
He is survived by his parents, John and Florinda Marler; his beloved wife of 34 years, Andrea Marler; two sons, Christopher (AnnDru) Marler and Austin (Molly) Marler; brother, John Eric Marler (Galena); grandson, Cohen Marler; nieces, Lydia and Elizabeth; nephews, Josh and Jacob; and many other relatives and friends.
The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at the Christian Life Center, 3489 Little York Road, Dayton, Ohio 45414, with a funeral service at 11 a.m., Pastor Stan Tharp, officiating. The burial will immediately follow with Pastor Kevin Cordner performing the committal at the Polk Grove Cemetery, 9190 Frederick Pike, Butler Township, Dayton, Ohio 45414. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home, Vandalia, Ohio. Condolences can be shared at www.MortonWhetstoneFH.com