Whether he was in his police uniform or not, Barry Marler believed he should help those in need. Even years after his retirement, the former police major still did what he could for others.
“He was always a service man,” said Stan Marler, his son who lives in Douglasville. “He was always busy doing something for other people.”
In his Jonesboro community of approximately 75 homes, Barry Marler was always busy, said Dorothy Harris Marler, his wife of 13 years.
“Before he became ill, he took care of everybody in our retirement community,” she said. Four years ago Marler said she had to move her husband to a nearby assisted-living facility. His absence was a big loss for the tight-knit community, she said.
Barry F. Marler died Monday from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84.
As he requested, no services are planned and his body has been donated to Emory’s medical school for Alzheimer’s research.
A graduate of Tech High School, Marler spent 28 years on the police force, his wife said. He even earned a degree from John Marshall Law School, so he could be a better police officer, she said.
“He loved his job and he did it with pride,” Stan Marler said, of his father.
It was the elder Marler’s professionalism that impressed former Atlanta mayor, Sam Massell.
“His wealth of knowledge in law enforcement was an asset and he was well respected by his colleagues,” said Massell, who is president of the Buckhead Coalition.
Retirement from the Atlanta Police Department didn’t end Marler’s career in law enforcement. He went into private security and served as the head of security for several companies. And when he wasn’t on the clock on a security job, he was working in his neighborhood.
“I called him a busy bee,” Marler’s son said. “If it was trash day, he’d pull the trash cans of neighbors and put them back after the trash was emptied.”
Marler first moved into the community with his first wife, Julia P. Marler in the mid-’90s. They were married for 50 years at the time of her death in 1999.
It was though his activity in the community that Marler met the fromer Dorothy Harris. Harris was a neighbor of the Marler’s and saw him working in the community often. The two married in 2000, and he often joked he should write a song entitled, “I married this girl, and she lived two doors down,” Dorothy Marler said with a laugh.
Marler said her husband was not only the unofficial groundskeeper, he was also a chauffeur for several retirees in their community.
“There was a woman he’d take to the grocery store once a week, there were several people he took to doctor’s appointments, and even a couple he took to Emory and that’s not close by,” his wife said. “But he felt he needed to do it because they needed the help. He didn’t turn anybody down who needed help.”
In addition to his wife and son, Marler is survived by his sister, Bonnie Jean Cole of Newnan; step-daughter, Judith Cota of Griffin; one grandson; and 3 step-grandchildren.