Marine Markets West founder loses cancer battle

Steve Cleary, founder of the marine representative company Marine Markets West, died at his home June 22.

Steve Cleary, founder of the marine representative company Marine Markets West, died at his home June 22 at the age of 73 after a brief battle with cancer.

Before opening Marine Markets West, one of the first marine representative companies on the West Coast, in the early 1980s, Cleary worked for dealerships and distribution companies in southern California. He was still working as a territory manager for Marine Markets at the time of his death.

Cleary grew up on the shores of Newport Beach, Calif., where his lifelong love of boats and the sea began and seemingly never ended. Those who knew him said he was loyal, knowledgeable and honest and worked tirelessly to promote the lines he represented.

Cleary was an icon in the marine industry for more than 40 years and pioneered the expansion of many marine companies to the West Coast. He was a mentor and friend to many in the industry and was an avid surfer, sporting clays shooter and vintage car fanatic.

He is survived by his wife, Susan, and daughter Ashley and son Adam. A memorial paddle-out will be held July 29 at Newport Pier in Newport Beach, followed by a reception at American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291, 215 15th St., Newport Beach, Calif. Further information is available by calling (949) 836-6637.

Condolences can be sent to 1940 Continental Ave., Costa Mesa, Calif., 92627. A donation in Cleary’s memory can be made by contacting the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or at


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