Edward C. Marshall of Clarion died on Friday September 6, 2019 at the age of 78. He passed away peacefully in hospice care at the home of his daughter’s family in Cheswick, immediately after they finished a bedside hymn service.
Edward was born in Elkton, Maryland on March 19, 1941 to parents Robert Marshall and Gertrude (nee Whitehead) Kriebel Marshall Amason. He grew up between Texas, Florida, and Nova Scotia with his grandparents and mother. Growing up, he helped his family with farm work, learned to drive a tractor early, raised pigs, and was too smart for his own good. He began studies at Austin College but joined the Air Force in 1960. He was offered a position in Air Force intelligence during the Cold War, learning Russian language and acting as an interceptor and then analyst based in Alaska. He was proud to have helped avert escalation to war when he translated a help signal from a lost Russian pilot who was about to be fired upon by the US over the Bering Strait. In his later years, the first story you were likely to hear was about the polar bear that chased him across the tundra in Alaska and left him with frostbite but his life.
Kristin and Ed married on November 9, 1963. He finished his military service honorably in 1964. Next, he graduated from Syracuse University in 1965 with a Bachelor’s Cum Laude in Philosophy and Russian Language. While teaching philosophy, he continued fellowships and PhD studies (ABD) in Russian language and Philosophy. He switched gears to pursue his fine arts interests in 1974-76 under the tutelage of his mentor and friend Ohm Cederberg, ASC. He then obtained an MFA at Florida State in Theatre and went on to pursue a career in theatre design and directing.
Ed enjoyed a 45 year marriage partnership with his wife until her death in 2009. For more than 25 years, they moved all over the US to teach at various universities – sometimes in the same department. He taught philosophy, art, and theatre design at places such as Syracuse University, Valdosta State, Albany State College, Florida State University, Mississippi University for Women, Lemoyne Owen College, Bowling Green University, and Cal-Polytechnic. In 1976, several of his paintings were exhibited at the American Painters in Paris Bicentennial show. Together, Ed and Kris put on many college theatre productions (him in design/directing, her in music/directing) including Medea, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Raisin in the Sun, Barnum, Cabaret, and Androcles and the Lion. They even included their infant daughter in the act as the newborn Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. Ed was always a champion for the arts in education, even advocating to maintain the music program in his daughter’s elementary school in Georgia. They settled in Clarion, PA in 1991 and he remained there until the year of his death. He had devoted caregivers in his home these last years, including when he stayed in Cheswick with his daughter’s family the last 5 months of his life. He was a member of the Lutheran and then later the Presbyterian Church. He was a writer (of poetry, several plays, and a novel in perpetual progress) and always interested in politics and defense of the US Constitution.
He is survived by his daughter Krista (Cleve) Cooke of Cheswick; grandchildren Caleb Marshall, Linda Grace and Sarah Rose Cooke; sisters Eileen McGuire of California and Lorna (Dennis) Shepherd of Arkansas. He was predeceased by his wife, Kristin (nee Krum); infant son “Robin”; siblings Robert Marshall, Linda Marshall McGrath, half sister Joan Krieble, half brother John Marshall and cousin Douglas Walker.
He is remembered for his big heart, his wise words peppered with bad jokes, his artistic flair, his use of the Socratic Method, his loving lectures, and his sacrificial love for his family.
The funeral service at 1:15 (led by Reverend Doctor Douglas Spittel) and visitation with the family will be held on Saturday September 14 from 1pm-3pm at Charles B. Jarvie CHESWICK Funeral Home, 1607 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick, PA 15024. His ashes will be interred beside his wife’s in Fort Plain Cemetery in New York.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to his grandchildren’s school’s fine arts department. (Write checks to Redeemer Lutheran School, memo: arts/theatre memorial donation, and mail to RLS, 700 Idaho Ave, Verona PA 15147 or bring to visitation).