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Parents Reflect on Passing of Son Who Died Three Days Before Being Sworn into EPD

In honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day on Saturday May 15th, family members and police officers are remembering the life and legacy of law enforcement officer Zack Marlin, who passed away unexpectedly last October, just a few days before he was to be sworn into EPD.

Posted: May 14, 2021 5:57 PM
Updated: May 14, 2021 7:19 PM

Zack Marlin, also known as Fish, was only 34-years-old -- working as a federal parole officer -- when he passed away suddenly from a fatal arrhythmia while at home in Evansville last October.

He was just three days away from being sworn in as a police officer with the Evansville Police Department.

"You've heard of the athletes that dropped dead on the court," said mom Deanna Marlin. "That's what happened to Zack."

He left behind a wife, Meg, and four children.

"He knew something was going on -- felt it and hollored for his daughters and they called Megan back home and 911," Deanna Marlin said. "But there was nothing that anybody could do."

After Marlin passed, EPD resigned his badge number -- 1510 -- and gave one to his wife.

His parents have another.

"Everybody in the family -- most everybody in the family got that number tattooed on them," Deanna Marlin said.

"Zack will always be apart of the E-P-D family -- no one will wear that badge number," said Phil Smith, assistant chief of police for EPD.

While Marlin was unable to completely fulfill his destiny of working in the EPD, his parents remember him as their son who loved to draw, fish and serve his community.

"He was excited about becoming a police officer," said dad Kevin Marlin. "He liked helping people -- and protecting,"

And they visit their backyard memorial for him everyday.

"We will put a swing-set out there for both adults and his kids," Deanna Marlin said. "So, when they come over we're always surrounding him with their love and memories."

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