Northeast Johnson County community coming together to support family of Pete Marrone, who died during bike race over spring break

Pete Marrone with his wife Charity and the couple’s three daughters. Photo via GoFundMe.

Friends are rallying support for the Marrone family following the death of father Pete Marrone during a bike race in Oklahoma over spring break.

The Land Run 100 race takes riders from Stillwater, Okla., on a 100 mile course of gravel and dirt roads. More than 1,700 riders registered for the race, which took place on March 16, including several Briarwood Elementary fathers.

Marrone’s obituary says he died “unexpectedly on Saturday while riding” in the race. His death came a day before his 44th birthday.

Friends have launched a GoFundMe page to provide financial support for Pete’s wife Charity and the couple’s three daughters: Adelaine, 18; Sylvia, 12; and Gwen, 10.

“As devastating as a tragedy like this is, the last thing Charity should worry about is finances,” reads the page. “Our goal, as Charity and Pete’s friends, is to keep stress off of her plate so that she can focus on healing from their loss at this very difficult time.  We hope to help with final medical costs, educational cost for the girls, and any expenses related to the loss of income due to Pete’s untimely death.”

The group has raised just under $11,000 of its $25,000 goal as of this morning.

Marrone was born in Girard and raised in Frontenac. A talented football player, he went on to compete at the college level at University of South Dakota and Southwest Baptist University. He met Charity, his wife of 21 years, during his sophomore year at Southwest Baptist.

An outgoing personality, he was known for his love of community events where he often volunteered his services as a grill master.

“His loss will be felt at the Linden Fest Fourth of July celebration, the Indian Princess Campouts he headed annually, the Briarwood Carnival, Progressive Dinners, Round Hill cook outs, BBQ competitions throughout the city and by his Jacobs Well family and community,” reads his obituary. “There are too many things to name that will not be the same without Pete at the grill.”

Marrone was a real estate developer by trade. In addition to his three daughters, Marrone is also survived by a son, Nick Janzen.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. this Saturday, March 23, at Jacob’s Well Church, Church, 1617 W 42nd St, in Kansas City, Mo. The memorial will be followed by a “Pete style BBQ” to “celebrate one of the most light-filled and life-loving men we have ever known.”