John “Buck” Marshall, Jr.
John “Buck” Marshall, Jr., 90, died on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, surrounded by his family. He was a native and lifelong resident of Newport News. His father and mother, John Marshall and Keturah Myrick “Kitty” Marshall preceded him in death. Buck was a graduate of the University of Richmond, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon’s social fraternity. He also was a lifelong communicant of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
While in college, Buck acquired a deep appreciation and talent for writing and, over two summers, wrote for the Newport News Times Herald (the then afternoon publication of the Daily Press Inc.). He used this writing ability on many occasions throughout his life. Buck founded and was president and principal instructor of Marshall Real Estate School, Ltd., on the Peninsula. Over 16,000 students attended the various educational and license preparatory courses required to sit for the real estate salesperson and broker examinations. He was most proud and gratified to have assisted so many in passing their state examinations and successfully beginning new careers. His school was recognized statewide for the thorough preparation of its students.
When monthly broker and salesmen exams rolled around, Buck met his classes for an early breakfast on exam day. The students all wore blue T-shirts (courtesy of Buck). “Marshall Real Estate School” was printed on the back, and “Buck’s The One” on the front. Buck, himself wore a T-shirt with “I’m Buck-I’m the One!” across the front…Marshall realized these shirts eased the tension on exam day.
Prior to founding Marshall Real Estate School, Buck undertook many leadership roles in Peninsula political and civic endeavors. He was chairman of Peninsula Taxpayers for Goldwater, chairman of Linwood Holton’s Peninsula campaign for governor, and participated in many public debates on behalf of national and state Republican candidates before political, civic, and school organizations. Buck was also elected Chairman of the Newport News Republican Party. During his tenure, Councilmen Joe Ritchie and Aubrey Fitzgerald became the first Republican officials ever elected in Newport News. Though never having run for public office, Buck remained totally loyal to the Republican Party, staunchly believing in and defending its prevailing moderate to conservative philosophy. He had been a charter member of the Republican National Committee.
Earlier, Buck had served as president of the Hampton Roads Jaycees, and under his leadership, it was recognized as the outstanding chapter in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, he served as president and campaign chairman of the Peninsula Leukemia Society. Buck also served as president of the following organizations: the University of Richmond Peninsula Alumni Association, the Peninsula Sports Club, the Pioneers Club of Newport News, and the Peninsula Tennis Patrons Association. He served on the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Boys Club, was a member of the James River Country Club, and was a three-term president of the governing body of Windward Towers.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra Weaver Marshall; his daughters, Cynthia Marshall McLean of Hobe Sound, Florida, and Allison Amsler Marshall (Ken Lange) of Williamsburg; his son, John Marshall III; his sister, Keturah “Kay” Marshall Johnson of Purcellville, Virginia; his nephew Keith Johnson and his wife Linda of Florida; and his niece, Keturah “Kitty” Johnson (Mike Dowling) of Purcellville, Virginia. He is also survived by his stepson, Commander (Ret.) Brian E. Bowden ( Jennifer) of San Diego, California; his stepdaughter, Michele L. DiCiro (Colonel Torrey A. DiCiro) of Arlington, Virginia.
Buck worshiped his family. He never stopped thanking God for bringing Sandra into his life. As a father, his lifelong devotion to his children-Cynthia, Allison, and John-knew no boundaries. On his mother’s 80th birthday, he wrote a heartfelt eleven-hundred-word tribute to this lady whom he admired so greatly (along with his father, who had died some years earlier). This tribute entitled “Kitty Marshall-WHAT A LADY!” appeared in the Newport News Daily Press.
Due to chronic back problems, Buck was compelled to retire prematurely from teaching to his great dismay. Since 2009, Buck and Sandra have belonged to Silver Sneakers, an exercise class held at the Newport News YMCA. Both Marshalls extolled the health and social benefits derived from this ongoing activity.
One passion that consumed Buck throughout his life was the lack of humane treatment of animals. He constantly argued for stricter punishment and penalties for those culprits who inflicted pain and suffering upon their helpless prey. He was equally disturbed in recent years to see American hunters go to Africa, with our country’s blessing, and slaughter elephants in their natural habitat for the sole purpose of selling their severed tusks for trophy or pecuniary purposes. Marshall hoped this barbaric practice would be outlawed in the near future.
The family will receive friends on Friday, August 18, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, August 19, at 12:30 p.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 45 Main Street in Hilton Village, Newport News, VA 23601. Immediately following the service, refreshments will be served in the church parish hall. The burial at Peninsula Memorial Park will be private for members of Buck’s family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 45 Main Street, Newport News, VA, or to the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter, 5843 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA.
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.