Landscapes 02

Marc C. Sword

June 26, 1959 ~ October 16, 2023 (age 64) 64 Years Old

Marc Sword Obituary

Marc Carleton Sword
1959 - 2023

Marc Sword, 64, of Marengo, IL, passed away on October 16th, 2023. Marc died peacefully at his home after a four month battle with brain cancer.

Marc was born in 1959 to Richard and Suzanne. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Leawood, Kansas, where Marc spent his childhood in their beloved family home with his two brothers, Scott and Daniel.

He had a love of the outdoors from childhood, catching all sorts of different bugs and reptiles, which his mother encouraged in him. He was a boy scout and especially enjoyed going on troop hiking and backpacking trips. He had many fond memories of visiting the Wold family cabins in Wisconsin throughout the years.

He attended Shawnee Mission East High School, and then the University of Missouri. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology. He spent time after graduating in Canada doing duck nest surveys, a time he enjoyed greatly.

Marc was married in 1994 to his wife Julie and they had one daughter, Allison. He was a devoted and adoring father and husband. They lived in Columbia, Missouri for many years. Marc worked for Sinclair Research and stayed with the company for over 25 years, making numerous friends there and finding fulfillment in the field of clinical pharmacology. 

In 2018, following the passing of his wife Julie and mother Suzanne, Marc moved to Marengo, Illinois. Here he bought the property he aptly named “Gas Holme,” so called for the geese that nested on the small island in his pond every year.

Marc was full of life and had a wealth of different interests and hobbies, only some of which can be captured below (but one must try).

He was a passionate conservationist, particularly toward local wildlife populations. He was a hunter and a fisherman, especially enjoying duck hunting and muskie fishing. One of his greatest loves was wildlife photography, which he pursued as a young adult. He took pride in his work and had some of his photographs published in wildlife magazines. 

Marc was a music lover and talented guitar player, playing in a band of his friends in his teen years and still wailing on his Les Paul through his fifties and sixties. He especially loved Rock & Roll, attending many concerts throughout his life.

He liked to cook and was a master on the grill. He was especially known for his chili and would eagerly recite his original recipe for anyone who asked. He enjoyed carrying on family tradition through food, including his mother’s oysters rockefeller.

He found an enthusiasm for gardening later in life, continuing the legacy left behind by his wife Julie. You could count yourself lucky indeed if you got to try one of his heirloom tomatoes.

Marc was fascinated by antiques and enjoyed collecting interesting pieces, including antique poison bottles, crockery, and wildlife art and sculpture. He was also fond of geology and fossil hunting.

He was incredibly handy and took great joy in his impressive woodshop. Marc always had a “project” that he was working on. Often it was a project around his property, creating something for his workshop or his garden. Sometimes it was an artistic project, like his unique bottle lamps. Or it was a project for someone else - he loved to solve problems and make things for others.

In June of 2023 Marc was diagnosed with a Grade IV Glioblastoma, a rare and terminal brain tumor. He was determined to “make hay while the sun shines” and set his affairs in order, which he succeeded in despite the severity of his disease. He died comfortably with his daughter and daughter in law by his side.

Marc was a positive, joyful person who always found - or created - a brightside. He was a goofy soul with a tendency to do silly voices and make up silly songs. He had many “catchphrases.” He was incredibly intelligent, which you knew just by speaking with him. He was logical and ethical. Above all else he was a kind man. He felt his emotions deeply and cared profoundly for the people he loved. He was gentle to the world around him and was taken from it too early.

He leaves behind a wealth of people who were blessed to know him, share in his passions, taste his cooking, and hear his stories (long though they may have been.)

He is survived by his brother Dan, sister in law Colleen, daughter Allison, and daughter in law Kasey. He was preceded in death by his brother Scott, father Richard, mother Suzanne, and wife Julie. He also had many cherished pets throughout his life.

A memorial service will take place on November 11th in Marengo, IL. Email Allison at for more details if you would like to attend.

In lieu of sending flowers, it was Marc’s request that you plant local wildflowers. He cared greatly about his local pollinator population, especially monarch butterflies, doing his part at Gas Holme by planting local Milkweed. Marc’s final “project” was the creation of Mark’s Monarch Milkweed Project - a resource to help people help pollinators. More information on the project coming soon.

If you are not able to plant local wildflowers where you live, a donation can be made on his behalf to one of his favorite charities: Ducks Unlimited, Planned Parenthood, or your local humane society.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook at

For more information, please call Saunders Funeral Home & Crematory at (815) 420-3030.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Marc C. Sword?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Marc's memory.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family

© 2023 Saunders Funeral Home & Crematory. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility