July 1, 2013

Last week I blogged about the death of my son, Stephen.  Since then we had the funeral service with all its wonderful tributes.  When I started on this blog journey six years ago, it never occurred to me that this forum would offer me so much comfort at a time like this.  (451 comments to date)  It's very much appreciated.  -- Bill

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Mr. Marriott,

Just a brief message of my deepest sympathy for the lost of your son, Steve. I'm certain he has left a legacy that you and your family are proud of, just as you have.

My deepest condolences...

Cathy Jackson
Central Direct Sales - Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Mr. Marriott

My husband and I both worked for Marriott international for just under 25 years (we missed the quater century club by just months due to some host products selling off in the Detroit area in 2003).

I just wanted you to know how sad we both are to hear about your loss. Stephen was a very good man and your loss is truly a lost to all.

Our thoughts prayers are with you and your family.

Dear Mr. Marriott:

I am deeply sorry for your loss. I have used your son as an example of leadership, hard work, determination and perseverance in our daily basics. I pray God gives you strength through this difficult time. Best regards,


My prayers are with your family as God gives you the strength to deal with this tremendous loss. Marriott properties have become bonding places with my own sons as I teach them our family business and values....My 21 year old and I just returned from 2 weeks at the JW in Hong Kong, where after 20 trips there, was my destination of choice for my son's inaugural visit as my summer intern. It goes without staying that the entire staff was incredibly helpful...and Taylor's parting words when I asked him if if he might like to live and work in HK after graduating were "well, Mom, it depends---I have no idea what Hong Kong would be like if I wasn't at the JW Marriott." Today, I ran into this blog as I was searching for the ideal Marriott property for my 18 year old and Mom as we spend a week in Orlando mixing 4 days of business with 3 days of the sights and a lot of bonding time in a close family setting the week before the craziness of his senior year kicks in. My boys Dad, my first husband, died of cancer 10 years ago and Marriott's have been the base for our travel memories since---from Los Suenos Costa Rica, to Paris, to Times Square countless properties in between, Austin and many trips to the Rogers, AR locations as Walmart suppliers, some of our most meaningful Mom to Son discussions have taken place over a leisurely breakfast or an evening swim and bedtime cookies at a Marriott property. Your properties have provided a home- away-from-home for my family that is always welcoming and so I deeply pray for your own family at this time. This atmosphere and culture you have created for countless families like ours is your son and families legacy that lives on to help other families like mine live life to the fullest in a caring environment. We are sorry for your loss and you are on top of our prayer list. Nina Martin Brackeen

At different times during my career I was honored to meet your parents, children and even several grandchildren. The impact each of your children has and will continue to have on the legacy of our company is immense. Stephen was a true role model for all of us showing a strength that defies words. My prayers are sent to your entire family as you mourn the loss of this great man.

Hello Mr. Marriott,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss "Stephen". My thoughts and prayers and wish you and your family well.

I was once your employee in my early 20's back in the 80's in Oklahoma City, OK.



Mr. Marriott: They say that the hardest thing in life is to bury your children. I will pray that God gives you and your wife strength to carry on. Peace be with you. Arthur

Dear Mr. Marriott,

I am deeply saddened by the news of your son Stephen. I remember being in Sunday school with him, in the scouts program, and in the other responsibilities we shared in our earlier years. On behalf of the entire Sanders family from Washington D.C., we send our utmost and deepest condolences to you and your family. What an inspiration Stephen was to all who knew him.

Warmest Regards,

Russell Sanders

Bill, please accept our sincere sympathy in the death of your son. When my mother died at age 37, her mother had a very difficult time accepting it--she said the old people are supposed to go first. Well, God sometimes has a different plan--someday we will understand. God bless you and your family and dwell on the good times you've had with Stephen. Life is short--make the most of every day.

Prayers go with you and your family. Blessings. d

When a child dies before the parent, it is beyond words. My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time, you can get through it, but you will never get over it. Prayers for you.
Linda Chancio

Dear Mr. Marriott

I am one of your trainers,passing your messages through to our associates , in all my training's I was always proud of your way as a leader and a father , today and when i saw Stephen's news, I was really emotioned and felt sad, because I used to mention some stories from your Spirit to Serve book to our new hires,,, and about your family

I am sure Stephen now in a great place in Heaven, may God will give him all his mercie and rest

Mr. Marriott , please do not be sad, we are all your sons and daugters

od Bless You

I cannot imagine your sorrow in this terrible loss of your child. Hoping your memories will bring you comfort.

Thank goodness for the Marriotts.

President Marriott,

It was so great to grow up with such an inspirational human being like Stephen.

So sorry Stephen and your family had to endure this illness for so long. May God bless Stephen and all your family now and forever.


Justin Earl Roderick

Mr. Marriott.
All that has and are still a part of the Marriott always will be family. We are One and always there for each other. I know many a tear was shed and also many smile for all who had the honor to work with Stephen.

May God Bless you and family
Dee O'Horan

I and we at Financial Executives International are very sorry to hear about the loss of your son! Our prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family!

When I joined the Marriott Foundation Bridges for People with Disabilities in 1999, I remember meeting Stephen at a conference we had in Washington D.C. I incorrectly thought that the family had chosen to work with students with disabilites because of him but later found out that was incorrect. I remember how gentle I felt his spirit to be and his sense of humor. I am very saddened to hear of his death and my heart goes out to the whole Marriott family. What a courageous man he was a role model for all.