Marcos and I played together as Hawkeyes. We also kept in touch and we hooked up again as old men.We workout together and shared old stories and laughs . I thank God for that. Amen
I knew Marcos my freshman year at Iowa. He and Tim Sullivan called me "Magoo" and would always stop and chat, whether downtown, moving across the Pentacrest, or at the IMU. I remember the laughing, the Irishman and the Puerto Rican together, and I knew anyone could be friends! Rest in peace, Marcos.
We were so sad to hear of Marco's passing. We met Marcos several years ago when RAGBRAI went past my parents home west of Shenandoah. Our kids were elementary school age and so excited about yelling out "where are you from" to the riders. Marcos stopped at the farm visited and ate lunch with us. Our son who is disabled by cerebral palsy and an avid Hawkeye fan was over the top excited!!!!!! Marcos knelt by Eric in his wheelchair and talked football. It was heartwarming;) A few years later RAGRRAI went through our town of Lake City. Marcos and his son stopped at our house to visit. Such a kind hearted man. He has left so many with great memories. Our sympathy to his family.
I’ve known Marcos for decades without remembering how or where I met him. In recent years we often used the Senior Center workout rooms at the same time. Actually Marcos gave my husband & I our initial orientation to the strength and conditioning equipment. One pearl of wisdom that I hope I always remember was his admonition “ if you over do it today, you won’t want to come back tomorrow.” As an overdoer, that was important advice.
I remember one day I was walking towards the Senior Center & Marcos was walking in front of me. I heard a guy shouting “ Marcus, hey Marcus”. I remember thinking, Marcus? Isn’t his name is Marcos? And then I just started chuckling. Cause that’s who Marcos was. Even people who didn’t necessarily even know his first name still considered Marcos their friend. Maybe even their best friend.
In the Senior Center fitness rooms, Marcos was the gentle motivator. Helping those who had injuries or age that diminished their dedication or ability to pursue exercise. Always encouraging. Always nonjudgmental.
I last saw Marcos in February 2020, as he was leaving the exercise room and I was entering. He was struggling to find his words, and told me, “ take it slow and steady.”
I think maybe that was as much for himself as for me.
Marcos was a beloved member of the Iowa City community. We will sorely miss him.
A better man I never knew
We will all miss this big Puerto Rican with the bigger than life personality. I will never forget the rode trips we shared and the many, many memories. You were a very knowledgable trainer that aided our children and inspired us in many ways. We will be forever grateful for your friendship, smiles, hugs and laughter. He was so proud of his children, and his whole family has our deepest sympathy. Wishing all of you strength and comfort, and we hope you enjoy your memories as we do in reminiscing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Kathy Thede-Reynolds and Bruce Reynolds
Marcos, as others have stated was a gentle giant who touched everyone he met. The stories already given are so true to his life. I along with many others will miss his smile, hugs, laughter and joy. No one was ever a stranger to Marcos. I find it difficult to articulate words to explain the great love he gave to all. I had the opportunity to meet part of his extensive family many years ago which made its easy to see where Marcos developed his huge “Melendez love” to share. My love and prayers are with his family as they grieve their loss.
You will always be remembered Marcos, your smile and love is unforgettable.
Marcos was a wonderful, never to be forgotten, friend and teacher. I met him when he was a trainer at the North Dodge Athletic Club and continued to learn from him for many years after that. He was a never ending source of energy and positivity, the kind of person that lights up the room and makes every day better and more possible. And he was a wonderful model of resiliency, in his ability to get up and try again when the challenges were great and things didn’t go the way you had hoped. I learned so much from him and his stories of his life experiences and his travels in a military family. Iowa City is a community of amazing people and Marcos was one of the best. He truly was 'Big Marcos' in in every way. My condolences to his family - you were all so important to him.
Marcos, how sad that you are gone, but what a blessing to have known you. We worked, hunted, played sports, laughed and enjoyed life together. We met 45 years ago. You will be missed and remembered by so many people whose lives you touched. You’d be proud of me bro, I’ve ridden my Trek 3,000 miles since the Covid shutdown in March. Sail on, my friend.
Marcus was such a tremendous man that made everyone he was around feel comfortable and enjoy life I feel so honored that I got to work with him at the University and then during my walks around Iowa City I would often run into him and he would always take time and always be so positive so proud that he was a part of my life at least in some small way my condolences to his family
What a lovely obituary describing a man with a huge heart and a huge smile. He always greeted you with warmth and the genuine feeling that you made his day! A gift!
Marcos had a smile that lit up a room, a heart filled with gold and one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met. Rest easy and love to your family. I am so grateful to have you in my world. ❤❤❤
I was incredibly lucky to have Marcos as my trainer at North Dodge Athletic Club. He was always kind, gentle, encouraging, and supportive. I learned so much from him -- not only about fitness but about spirit. I always looked forward to seeing his big smile and hearing about his life. He was so proud of his daughter and his heritage, and dreamed of going back to Puerto Rico to start a B&B someday. My heartfelt sympathy to his family. Marcos was a gift to everyone who knew him.
Very sad to hear of the passing of a Hawkeye teammate and great friend. We shared some really great times chasing turkeys in NE Iowa and spending time with family at his home in Mount Vernon. He made a successful business of his fitness center in Cedar Rapids because of his personality and kindness. He will be missed. God Bless you, brother.
There are a lot of people you meet in this world some really good ones. Marcos was one of those! We shared football, basketball and life together at Iowa. Lot of laughs and a good friendship. Just enjoyed being around him! Love guys that could laugh at themselves. He was one of those guys. Big heart. Rest In Peace Marcos. JC
Marcos was truly a one-of-a-kind human being. I can't remember when I first met him but every time I would run into him it was as though we saw each other every day. We would go years without seeing each other and then out of nowhere there was Marcos with that big smile and equally big hug. I'm grateful to call him my friend.
The last 4 to five years we hung out together.Working out in the morning going to lunch..Sometimes getting a senior citizen discounted movie.Laughter abound those were the good old days.Marcos even talked me in to getting a bike.In some ways we were young again.Memories of a good life up to the end.Nelly
I first met Marcos in the Hillcrest dormitory as we were matched as roommates, both being new recruits of the Hawkeye football team. Marcos and I became fast friends and had many great memories together. He was a wonderful friend and each time I would see him after we moved apart was like the 1st time we met. Great guy, good friend and super teammate. RIP Marcos! Jim Miller
To the Melendez family:
Marcos was bigger than life itself. When I first met him as a client in the 80's, his personality made me feel like a long lost friend. When I saw Marcos last year, he hugged me and promised to get together soon. Sadly the pandemic and life got in the way. Never a braggard, I had to drag stories out of him from his Hawkeye and NFL past. Nearly 40 years after we first met, I still haven't met anyone as charismatic and kind as Marco. Bless his memory. Bless his soul.
Rest in Peace Marcos