Marc, who was self-taught, was lead guitarist in the band Zen Black, formed while he was in college. He wrote much of the music they played, his parents said.
The band was made up mostly of North Hagerstown graduates who were also at Maryland. They played in the College Park and Baltimore area, but eventually went their separate ways.
The Lipellas knew all of the band members and said they came over after learning of Marc's death and shared stories of their band experiences with Marc.
Marc's passion for music has inspired Dick and Gayle to set up a scholarship in his memory for a male North Hagerstown High School graduate who is going to study music at the University of Maryland.
"We respected him enough to let him do his own thing," Dick said.
His long, flowing hair and beard "were him." He got a buzz cut in college as an initiation for the hockey team and never cut his hair after that, Gayle said.
"We were never in his face. We always gave him his privacy," Gayle said. "He was his own person, and we loved him for it."
Marc, in turn, was respectful of his parents, listening to their advice, but generally doing things his own way.
"He could come in and lift people up, but he was also a very private person," Dick said.
Out of necessity, Marc moved home to Maugansville a few years ago. His family cherishes the time they had getting to know him as a young adult. He and his brother Michael, who also lives in Maugansville, got to spend more time together.
"They got really, really close," Dick said.
Marc didn't worry about money or possessions, but was generous with the things in life that you couldn't put a price tag on — a smile, a good laugh, a great story and time together, his parents said.
"He was not materialistic, in my opinion," Dick said. "I think he got it right."
His untimely death at home took the family by surprise. Each day brings challenges, especially with no known cause of death.
"The outreach from friends and family has been tremendous," Gayle said.
Despite all of the unanswered questions, the one thing the Lipellas know is that Marc isn't here anymore.
"There's a terrible void," Dick said.
"It's an empty, hollow feeling," Gayle said. "It's just hard to process."
As they adjust to life without their youngest son, it's hard not to think of what was ahead for Marc. Instead, it's easier to remember that Marc lived his life to the fullest and made a difference in people's lives.
"It's the age. He had so much ahead of him. We need more people like him," Dick said. "He touched people in 29 years more than most will in a lifetime."