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Michael Jean DeMarko

1938 - 2020
Michael Jean DeMarko Obituary
Michael Jean DeMarko

Pensacola - Pensacola native, Judge Michael J. DeMarko, age 81, died March 17, 2020 in Hospice care at Summer Vista Assisted Living after a brief battle with lung cancer.

Michael was born on December 17, 1938 to Elvie and Angelo DeMarko. He is predeceased by his parents and his brother Maurice and survived by his daughter Talia Nicole DeMarko and granddaughter Bria, his sister Elisa Criscuolo and her children Michael and Carla, his wife Juliet DeMarko, beloved soulmate of forty years, and his three step-daughters, Laura Wood, Anna Mitrovic, and Maricarmen Josephs. He is also survived by his cat, Boots, who stayed faithfully beside him in his room at Summer Vista for five months.

Michael was a graduate of Culver Military School, Sewanee University, and University of Florida Law School. He proudly served his country in the Marine Corps between 1960 and 1963 as an Artillery Officer.

Michael returned to Pensacola in 1966 to practice law and eventually serve twenty years in the Panhandle as a Workers' Compensation judge whose decisions were well-respected in the state of Florida. He never lost his love of practicing the rule of law and the defense of the Constitution.

Pensacola was the only place Michael ever called home. He dedicated himself to the renovation and preservation of the historical downtown area, serving in the early years as president of the Pensacola Heritage Foundation. Mike inherited a love for music of all kinds and sang in the Gulf Coast Chorale for many years. He was passionate about sailing and racing events at the Pensacola Yacht Club, where he was a member for sixty-seven years and served on the board. He created the P.Y.C. Marine group which still meets monthly.

Mike was almost as passionate about his Italian cooking and often cooked for his friends and family. His Father's Italian meatball recipe made Mike famous locally Although Mike was widely read on many subjects, he was most knowledgeable in History, particularly the American Civil War and World War II. His daughters always warned new friends not to ask him any questions about history if they expected ever to leave the house.

Mike was most proud of the part he played, along with Pat Dodson, Earl Bowden and other vocal leaders, in getting a large portion of Pensacola's beautiful white beach designated as a National Seashore.

Mike's friends and family will remember him as a loving husband, devoted father and mentor to four daughters and five grandchildren; as a wise, witty, generous and faithful friend; as a believer in rational discourse and social justice; and as a gentleman of the old school, a judge who never judged his family and friends.

Mike will be laid to rest in a small private ceremony at Barrancas Cemetery. Memorial services at Christ Episcopal Church will be announced at a later date when present health problems are no longer an issue.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Council on Aging of West Florida, P.O. Box 17066, 32522.
Published in Pensacola News Journal from Mar. 19 to Mar. 20, 2020
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