He died on July 4, 1994, after he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed while driving home on the NJ Turnpike after a night of refereeing WWF matches in Ocean City, Maryland. Bruno Lauer, better known by his ring name Harvey Wippleman, was with him at the time and was critically injured. Lauer was wearing a seatbelt, while Marella was not. Marella is interred next to his father Gorilla Monsoon (1937-1999) at Lakeview Memorial Park in Cinnamonson, New Jersey. Images of a Baseball Player and a Golfer were placed on his headstone due to his love of the two sports. As a tribute, WWE ring announcer Tony Chimel named one of his sons after Marella. Marella's sister Valerie also named a son after her brother.