Ralph Marek Sr.
1925 - 2020
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Ralph Stanley Marek Sr.
1925-2020
Ralph S. Marek, age 95 went to be with his lord on April 25, 2020. He is now reunited with his spouse and love of almost 65 years, Martha Madeline. Having met in the Navy during World War II they forged a relationship that was a model to his family.
Best known as an Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Ralph's enduring legacy was that he cared about people and always saw the best in them, no matter their circumstances or where they were from. This is evidenced by his unrelenting desire to build a thriving business where the employees were considered its greatest strength. His life's work was to improve the lives of the less fortunate because of the poverty he and his family had experienced growing up during the Great Depression. One of his favorite sayings was that the good lord had given him and his family many blessings and he felt that it was his job to share those blessings with the less fortunate.
Ralph was born to John A. Marek and Hermina Marek in Yoakum, Texas on April 10, 1925. Being raised in a Czech community Ralph spoke the native language and didn't learn English until beginning school. Six years after his birth, Ralph's parents lost their farm through foreclosure in the midst of the Depression. After graduating from high school at age 15, he left Yoakum in 1941 to join his brothers John and Bill. They had moved to Houston and were in the process of founding Marek Brothers Company. That was soon interrupted by World War II and all three brothers put the business on hold to serve their country in the armed forces. After they returned from service they picked up where they left off and the Marek Brothers companies became the largest interior contractor in not only Texas but the South, with branches in Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Harlingen, and Atlanta, Georgia. Ralph and his brothers also founded Stanley Construction Company which developed several subdivisions and built homes in Harris, Montgomery and Waller Counties, as well as Blue Bell Place Builders a residential rental company. These companies were built on the founder's credo that the customer and the employees of the company come first. Until recently Ralph served as the Chairman of the Board of the Marek Family of Companies which now employs in excess of 5000 skilled craft workers.
Beyond his working life Ralph had a rare Spiritual Life. In 1950 he attended a weekend retreat at the Holy Name Retreat House on Bunker Hill. The Passionist Priests encouraged the retreatants to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit who would help them in making decisions in their personal and business lives. Ralph took their advice and began a spiritual partnership with the Holy Spirit. For the rest of his life Ralph and this partnership with the Holy Spirit grew his involvement with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul which led to the building of the Vincentian Service Center on the Gulf Freeway and assisting countless people and organizations with food and financial support. Ralph was the driving force behind the Marek's involvement in the Circle Lake Retreat Center, a 45 acre facility now owned by the Archdiocese of Galveston Houston, as well the construction of the Bonita House of Hope, a 200 bed facility on Parker Road that provides transitional housing to women with substance abuse problems and their children. The Holy Spirit also led to the Marek Family's decision to donate their homes on Marek Road to the Missionary Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa on Marek Road. This compound includes a 12-bedroom retirement facility and Ralph's house which will now be donated to the Carmelites. Ralph also gave the Holy Spirit credit for his and his brothers decision to form the Marek Family Foundation which provides grants to organizations that assist the poor. Beyond all of these endeavors, Ralph spent countless hours helping the less fortunate in personal ways that he saw as part of his calling from the Holy Spirit. Ralph always credited his charitable endeavors, whether large or small, to the Holy Spirit and the Marek Family, never to himself.
Through his relationship with the Holy Spirit, Ralph could see that he could not only help others monetarily but spiritually as well. He encouraged his relatives and friends to build their own relationship with the Holy Spirit earlier rather than later in their lives. As an encouragement, Ralph authored a book about his relationship with the Holy Spirit and has distributed over five 5000 blessed Holy Spirit medals over the last 15 years. It is Ralph's wish that all who attend his memorial service be given his book and a Holy Spirit medal if they do not already have one.
Besides the other endeavors of running a business and helping the less fortunate Ralph made time to serve on the Advisory Boards of the Dominican Sisters, St. Pius X High School, the Diocesan Development Board and both the Assumption and St. John Neumann St. Vincent de Paul Societies (his favorite charity. Ralph and his wife, Martha, were inducted into the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in October of 1984.
The family would like to give a special thanks to his caregiver of many years, Maria Diaz. Her hard work and dedication added many quality years to Ralph's life.
Ralph is survived by his two sons and their spouses R. Stan Marek and wife Reinnette; Tom Marek and wife Sunghee; He is also survived by five grandchildren, Thomas Neil, Amanda Holly, Michael, Ben and Elisabeth and a great grandchild Avery. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society svdphouston.org. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions there will be no funeral. A celebration of Ralph's life will be held later this summer.



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Published in Houston Chronicle from Apr. 28 to May 3, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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21 entries
May 12, 2020
I met Ralph Marek in 2002.I was unemployed living with my girlfriend and 6 year old daughter at the time.He helped me get a job at his construction company MEMCO.He let us move into a duplex in his Bluebell community against the advise of management and legal advice ( there lawyer ).I live with the same girlfriend ( we are married now ) her mother and my 24 year old daughter right across the same street 18 years ago all thanks to Mr Ralph Marek .He is the most influential , respected, kind hearted, sincere, man I have ever met in my life!May God bless this great man and his family.
Paul Arredondo
May 7, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Ricardo Perales
Acquaintance
May 4, 2020
As a child my parents and grandparents took us to the Mareks lake property frequently. We would laugh, eat, sit around the fire, canoe and catch catfish with cane poles. The whole Marek family were friends with my grandparents but always seemed like and treated us like part of theirs. I have such good memories of the time we spent with Ralph, his big smile and laugh, as well as his brother Bill and their family. I know they will carry on his mission, but the world is a lesser place without him!
David Rohde
Friend
May 4, 2020
Faithful Blessings Bouquet - VASE INCLUDED
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Melissa Kirkpatrick
May 1, 2020
Im I really sad to read hes gone, I really appreciate the help he gave to our family, he was an amazing person, Thank You Mr. Ralph Marek, you are a man of God, May you Rest In Peace!!! My condolences Mr. Stan And Family.
Karla Rosa
Friend
April 29, 2020
My dad, Arthur Buske, worked for Ralph Marek for many years. He respected Mr Marek and always spoke highly of him. May God bless his family in their hour of grief.
Mary Boyle
Friend
April 29, 2020
Ralph and Martha were two of the most wonderful people that Don and I were blessed to have as friends and to be a part of our lives. In addition to all of the bountiful legacy of good works and donations to God's kingdom that he did, he also leaves a beautiful gift of showing the love of our LORD through his love and caring of his fellow man with joy and goodness that just shone for all to see. To Stan, Tommy and families, I know that there is a huge hole in your hearts and I am keeping you in my prayers for the loving comfort and peace that only our Lord Jesus cab give. Much love, Gay Nell Hall & family.
Gay Nell Hall
April 29, 2020
Mr. Ralph Marek's memory will continue tto live on in our hearts and minds. He was such a holy man, a man of God that he certainly became my inspiration in my own friendship with the Holy Spirit. I thank God for the gift of his life. May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace! May God grant Mr. Ralph's family their consolation in this time. Amen.
Sr. Perez
Friend
April 28, 2020
Ralph Marek was an instrumental figure in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese and in my life. I worked with him extensively whenever I was getting my Masters from Regis University. He was the benefactor of the Circle Lake property and my Masters project was to facilitate the development of a family retreat center for the Diocese. He used to tell me that he had a working relationship with the Holy Spirit. I saw that relationship lived out in every aspect of his life. It was an honor to know him and I am so grateful for the years I worked with him on Circle Lake Family Retreat Center.
Sara
Friend
April 28, 2020
It was an honor for me to work side by side with Ralph in the visioning, planning, building and finally the operation of the Circle Lake Retreat Center. He was and remains an inspiration to me, my family family and all retreatants who participated in the Circle Lake Retreat Center. My heart is broken but the wound is filling with the power of the Holy Spirit. All my love and respect for all the Marek family members who embraced me and our ministry over the past 23 years. Gloria M Bustillo
Gloria Bustillo
Friend
April 28, 2020
Simply the finest gentleman that I ever worked for. A pillar of the Houston Community. Home now and ready to continue his work.
Chris Brown
April 28, 2020
Sweet video ! Tears :( Cherish every moment with your loved ones, Ralph Marek was loved by many, may god have you in his glory. My condolences to all the MAREK Family - MEMCO Family will miss you on your Friday tours.
MARICELA COMPEAN
April 28, 2020
His legacy lives in us! What an incredible family and legacy he built. Prayers!
Gabriela Perez
April 28, 2020
Mr. Ralph was a blessing to my family and I. My father worked and still works in his company. He came into our lives like an angel. He let us stay in one of his homes when the house went into foreclosure. Every week he would personally come to the house to bring us food. Thanks to him we have a home now. I am very blessed to have met a great man like himself.
April 28, 2020
I was fortunate to have the chance to speak with Ralph many times at the Circle Lake Retreat Center when I teamed on ACTS retreats. He was a model of humility and a true servant of the Lord.

Ralph evangelized constantly about the power of the Holy Spirit and gave away thousands of Holy Spirit medals. I think that was his favorite thing to do and I will always cherish the one that he gave to me.

My sincerest condolences to the family. I know you must be very proud of the impact that Ralph had, and will continue to have, on the lives of so many!
Bob Zerda
April 28, 2020
Stan & Tom and the entire Marek family,

Your Dad was a very special man and I remember seeing him so often at St Pius, always there to help where ever he could.
He led a life of example for us all and now is reaping his rewards in Heaven. May all of you feel the comforting arms of the Holy Spirit during this difficult time. May your Dad RIP, he so deserves it.

Peace,
Gloria Cykala Vocelka
Gloria Vocelka
April 28, 2020
He has done so much for the downtrodden. I just noticed his mother Hermina Peters was my 4th cousin. I wish I had known this when I went to school in 1969 with the Mareks at St. Pius. God speed because there is a special place in Heaven for you and all the good works done by you and your family. Lois Petter Pereira
Lois Petter Pereira
April 28, 2020
Jerod Smith
April 28, 2020
maria cristina Diaz
April 28, 2020
I met Mr. Ralph while attending an ACTS retreat at the Circle Lake Retreat Center which is a beautiful gift to the people of God! Ralph was a happy, lively man and we all enjoyed talking with him that day. You could tell that his love for the Holy Spirit was something he shared everyday through his life and dealings with other people. May his return to our "homeland" bring peace and comfort to his family.
Vicki Guidry
April 28, 2020
A hearted, kind, a man of character. May your light continue to shine and your legacy lives on. Rest In Peace Mr Marek!!!
Carmene Metellus
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