Peter "Pete" Marx
Class of 1951
Date of passing: Feb 21, 2007
VIRGINIA BEACH — They were a bunch of 12- and 13-year olds hanging out in Norfolk’s East Ocean View when Peter Marx came into their lives.
Marx, then in his 20s, agreed to sponsor the neighborhood Junior Aces and coach the football team in the city rec league.
“He was a mentor before we called it that,” said Michael Caprio, former Junior Aces quarterback and now principal at Maury High School. “He fed us, got us out of trouble and was a father figure to many of us who didn’t have fathers.”
The Junior Aces racked up four straight undefeated, untied, unscored-upon seasons. His former players would go on to be an admiral, a Rhodes scholar, lawyers, business leaders and school administrators.
“He had a knack for encouraging you,” said Richard Harris, now a financial adviser. “He probably told me I was a lot better than I was, but he had a way of making you believe it.”
Marx, who died Feb. 21 at age 73, was born in Germany. His family emigrated in 1938 and three years later settled in Norfolk, where young Marx fell in love with sports.
He became active in the Norfolk Sports Club in the ’70s, rising to the presidency and remaining active until his death. He embraced the club’s mission, helping raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships to needy student athletes.
A friendship with the late wheelchair athlete, Skip Wilkins, led Marx to become a strong supporter of the Virginia Sun Wheelers.
“He lived for helping kids succeed,” said friend Fred Glanville, who named his son after Marx.
The father of four daughters, he was a burly guy who “didn’t stop at a handshake,” Glanville said. “He had to throw a bear hug on you.”
Marx earned a living as owner of a carpet supplies company. But sports were his passion. For a time, he also coached the Granby JV team.
“He was old-style,” Caprio said. “He’d show you how to do something and knock you down demonstrating it. Back then, coaches didn’t have to stay in a coaching box. You’d be making a long run and there he was, running down the sidelines with you.”
The only thing he didn’t like about sports is when his beloved Redskins lost.
Said Harris, echoing the sentiment of many East Ocean Junior Ace teammates: “He changed my life.”
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