By Lloyd Marcus
Suddenly stricken by a pulmonary embolism, Lloyd Marcus joined his Lord and Savior the day after he and his devoted wife, Mary Ann Milliken Parker Marcus, celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary. In the previous week, the couple had returned from campaigning on the West Coast. Tests revealed no presence of Covid-19.
In addition to his beloved wife Mary, Lloyd leaves daughter, Lisa Maria Marcus (Roni) and son, Timothy Billy Parker (April), as well as granddaughter, Moire Parker.
Lloyd was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Dr. Lloyd E. and Rodell (Miss Tillie) Jackson Marcus Jr., as well as his younger brother, Vernon Marcus.
Lloyd is survived by one sister, three brothers, five sisters-in-law, three brothers-in-law, three aunts as well as numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and countless friends. Often those closest to Lloyd called him by the family nickname of “Peanut”, and they, with all those who loved Lloyd, will forever mourn the loss of his giant smile and warm wisdom that was always delivered with unconditional acceptance.
A recent Daytona Beach News-Journal article recounts how at 14, Lloyd’s father took him to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, where they attended the historic Civil Rights rally highlighted by Martin Luther King. Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. Father and son had lapel pins reading, “FreedomNow.” The inspired youngster declared, “I’m not taking this button off until we are free.” Exemplifying that determination and dedication, Lloyd saw his father break the color barrier in the Baltimore City Fire Department and be named “Firefighter of the Year” twice.
Lloyd Marcus’ character was molded by example. His father taught him to follow his heart and work hard towards his goals. Lloyd watched the Democratic Party manipulate his neighbors for political gain and pleaded that “seeing yourself as a victim doesn’t empower you. It weakens you. Don’t let them keep stirring the ‘Race Pot’.” Lloyd believed in the good in America declaring, “Give Americans a worthy goal, lock them in a room together, and you’ll see. They will work it out.”
The young Lloyd Marcus studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art and earned an Honorable Discharge from The United States Armed Forces. A member of the Green Beret Chorus, Lloyd also performed with General Flanagan’s Barber Shop Quartet and lent his considerable talents to numerous USO shows.
Lloyd met Mary as he walked in their Baltimore neighborhood. She waved him down, introduced herself, and promptly asked, “Could you break into my apartment?” Lloyd would laugh out loud remembering, “I suppose I could have been offended that she’d assumed that I, as a black man, would know how to “break in” but that little blonde hippy-chick couldn’t have weighed 100 pounds, and she was just so-o-o cute!”
Lloyd found an open window and unlocked Mary’s door. They sat down on the front steps where more than four hours evaporated as they began the conversation, they would enjoy nonstop for the next 48 years. In 1977, the couple accepted Jesus as their Savior, and Lloyd’s aunt, the Rev. Anita Bethea, “irrevocably joined” them in Holy Matrimony during an outdoor ceremony in Gunpowder State Park.
Shortly after the nuptials, Lloyd and quite a few of their wedding guests were due on stage at the Morris Mechanic for the closing performance of their Jesus Christ Superstar engagement. Musical theatre showcased Lloyd’s range of talent as evidenced by the raves he received for his characterization of Judas. A Marcus cousin, jazz legend Irma Curry exclaimed, “He is a pure singer. Don’t try to categorize Lloyd because he can sing it all: jazz, country, opera, or whatever.”
Joining the graphics department of the ABC affiliate WJZ-TV in Baltimore in 1978, Lloyd rose to supervise a team whose marketing campaigns consistently garnered national awards for creativity in multi-media productions long before anyone understood that was a “thing.” It was at WJZ in 1984 that Lloyd helped send off the aspiring Oprah Winfrey when she moved to Chicago to launch her talk show career. Oprah described Lloyd as, “…one of those people that have “The Light.”
Lloyd’s skill and enthusiasm for writing grew and in 1989, his love song to Mary, When I Look in Your Eyes, earned a semi-finalist spot in Billboard Magazine’s Song Contest. The couple launched Zephyrus Productions and were delightfully surprised as Lloyd’s smooth crooner style gained immense popularity overseas. Zephyrus Productions had another hit with Lloyd’s single Another Life. That adult contemporary offering reached Lloyd’s European audiences with enough momentum to break into the top ten in the Netherlands.
In the early 1990s, the expenditures necessary to create, maintain, and host a website such as http://LloydMarcus.com could have been, as Lloyd suspected, a huge waste of money; however, Mary taught herself the skills necessary to conquer that evolving technology, and then she gently, but firmly, ushered Lloyd into the 21st Century.
Focusing fully on his music career, Lloyd wrote Celebrate America, the rousing crowd-pleaser that was introduced nationwide in 1993 during ESPN’s airing of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game’s broadcast. His patriotic anthem was also featured nationally in the United Way’s recruitment campaign.
Lloyd went on to perform Celebrate America for more than five years at the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration & Naturalization Service’s monthly ceremony to welcome new citizens. Celebrate America’s essential theme, “that the greatness of America relies on each individual’s efforts,” resonated with the newcomers as Lloyd’s presence radiated acceptance, positivity, and hope. Lloyd believed that “welcoming each new American citizen, shaking hands, or hugging them is my honor.I know they struggled, went without, and overcame terrible obstacles to legally earn their citizenship here, in the greatest country on the planet.”
Lloyd donated his Hello Baltimore CD to the time capsule buried in the Inner Harbor by Mayor Kurt Schmoke on New Year’s Eve 1997, which is not to be opened until December 31, 2097. Its plaque states that the capsule contains “memorabilia contributed as representatives of our culture and heritage on the 200th anniversary of Baltimore’s incorporation.”
Lloyd’s participation in that historical project earned him “the Mayor’s Citation for your contribution to the civic welfare of our municipality,” but it was the following year that the accolades from Governor William Donald Schaefer…“your impressive commitment to the people of this state and nation, seeking to make a productive difference in their lives and experiences – as demonstrated by your outstanding musical talents and distinguished record of community service, entertaining the members of your audience while encouraging them to pursue their sound goals and dreams…” echoed as Lloyd and Mary sold their home and followed their dreams to Florida.
They moved to Florida where Lloyd accepted a creative position with a cutting-edge graphics company, promising lots of challenging projects for well-known clients, but the company was a start-up and its financing soon fizzled. Still, Lloyd smiled, wrote, sang, and encouraged others to trust in the Lord.
When the Volusia County Sheriff Department’s “First Thursday Event” was scheduled for their neighborhood, the couple contributed a “production” to underscore the event’s Crime Awareness theme. Dignitaries took notice and Lloyd’s popularity as an entertainer and motivational performer grew. When they were asked to volunteer to breathe life into the Deltona Arts and Historical Center, the cause spoke to Lloyd’s heart.
Ah-h-h, the shows, the opportunities, the lessons, the positive reinforcements that took place! Lloyd and Mary manifested miracles to create a showcase for regional artists as well as a springboard to a possible shot at stardom when America’s Got Talent chose the center to host auditions.
In 2006, some Marcus artwork was involved in a constitutional dispute when Deltona City Council asked to be allowed to display some of Lloyd’s paintings as a salute to Black History Month. The council members chose three works depicting a pastor holding a Bible, a Holy Bible on a nightstand, and a person wearing an I Love Jesus hat. Inexplicitly, Deltona’s mayor and the acting city attorney orchestrated the removal of the art, igniting an uproar. After Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel filed a federal lawsuit, Deltona reversed course and agreed to rehang the paintings. Staver hailed the rectification of that censorship as “a victory for freedom of speech.”
“A rare Black Republican,” columnist Mark Harper observed, “Marcus told the News-Journal in 2007, ‘I found it condescending that someone would think I needed help because of who I was… The Republican Party was the party that made me feel I could go out and make it on my own.’”Lloyd based his beliefs on the notion that less government was better for those minorities seeking to better themselves.” Volusia County Republican Party state committeeman, Vic Baker, remembers Lloyd as, “a happy warrior. He was a smiling, committed man of God, who represented America and everything that’s great about it.”
In 2009, Marcus rose to national popularity with his creation of the American Tea Party Anthem. Lloyd enjoyed greeting patriots nationwide as he performed at over 500 Tea Party rallies protesting Obama’s policies. A gathering in Texas dubbed Lloyd, “Mr. Tea Party,”and it stuck.
Lloyd Marcus – with his big smile, black hat, and welcoming stance – was hard to miss but the CNN news group managed to never acknowledge his presence. Even though the reporters traveled with the Tea Party Team on the Express, not a single shot of Lloyd ever aired during any of their “fake news” updates.
Lloyd was a newsmaker and he had no doubts regarding the duplicity of the liberal media. Performing at the Washington DC “Rally to Stop Obamacare”, The Unhyphenated American stepped onto the stage and declared, “My fellow Americans, I am not African-American. I am Lloyd Marcus, AMERICAN!” There were delighted cheers and echoes of roars while most of the nearly two million patriots jumped to their feet, waved flags, and joined Lloyd in singing his political parody, Twenty Ten, complete with a volunteer chorus line. However, national news media coverage was non-existent. Zip. Zilch. For the majority of Americans, that emotionally charged, “We The People” event just … didn’t … happen.
Lloyd was the founding Chairman of “The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama” and “The Conservative Campaign Committee”, which worked to elect President Donald J. Trump. Those tasks accomplished, Lloyd continued writing his well-received, syndicated columns that were published regularly in The American Thinker, News With Views, Cowgernation, and Canada Free Press among others.
For many years, The American Thinker enabled Lloyd to share his travels with his reading audience. Lloyd wrote about the encouragement he’d received just that day from a fellow American in the audience, or he’d recall how one selfless act of love from a complete stranger could instantly change a point of view. Lloyd wrote with humor and hope.
Time passed rapidly, and their parents were aging, so Lloyd and Mary packed again and headed north to be nearer until the Lord called their loved ones home. Still, Lloyd wrote. Lloyd wrote about growing up. He wrote of his dedication to Christ and his family. He wrote about Mary, his rock, and the love of his life. He wrote of what he learned from a response to one of his columns. Lloyd worked hard to acknowledge or respond to all of his supporter’s mail. It meant a lot to him.
As 2019 closed, Lloyd began compiling what will be his final original musical offering to his fellow patriots. The planned CD, We Are Americans features his title song, of the same name which implores divine consideration for a country that has lost its way. Lloyd left a file of tunes to be included in this final uplifting patriotic collection, a labor of love that Mary will see to completion. Additionally, he was working on his memoir entitled, How My Black Democrat Dad Raised a Republican Son: The Making of the Unhyphenated American. David Limbaugh, syndicated conservative political columnist and author penned the foreword. He is the brother of Rush Limbaugh, “America’s Anchorman,” and The Medal of Freedom Recipient bestowed by President Donald Trump (2020).
In January, Lloyd released his Trump Train 2020 music video, entreating Americans to “get on board.” This past February, Lloyd wrote to expose the agenda advanced by the liberal media’s “horrible lies.” During a video interview, he emotionally decried seeing “hopeless black kids roving around thinking America is out to get them when they got a check in their back pockets. They got American citizenship that buys them anything they want!”
The depth of loss felt by Lloyd’s fellow writers was evident reading Al Everson’s weekly column, Between the Lines. The headline wept, “We’ll miss you, Lloyd Marcus.” The article continued, “We have lost a national treasure…. a gentleman… Lloyd Marcus was a true Renaissance man: writer, singer, songwriter, artist, political activist, and patriot. Marcus’ pride and love of his country were not mean-spirited or haughty expressions but rather… examples of how ‘we’ could celebrate those things that unite us, not divide us.” American Thinker issued a heartfelt cry: “The Unhyphenated American is Gone.” Scores of colleagues and activists upheld his memory and love for country.
Many patriots who loved and admired Lloyd felt his loss deeply. The Tea Party Express was “deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our team member… He was a dynamic individual who truly loved this country and his fellow Americans. He leaves a legacy through his music and written word. We know that Lloyd sings with the angels.”
The Conservative Campaign committee honored Lloyd in a gracious statement: “Lloyd Marcus had a shining spirit that radiated optimism, fueled by a deep-seated love for his country and his fellow man. Lloyd never let hurdles deter him; instead, he viewed them as stepping stones to climb ever-higher to new heights of achievement and purpose. His passion was infectious, his decency unmatched – people who came to know Lloyd found their lives brighter and more enriched. We were all blessed that God loaned us this wonderful man. May he rest in eternal peace.”
Per his wishes, Lloyd’s interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery in our nation’s capital to be joined by Mary when they reunite. Lloyd often closed his columns by sharing why he felt compelled to become a political activist:
God instructed Pharaoh, “Let my people go.”
God instructs us, “Let my people know.”