Frank Preston Marshall, 93, son of the late Emory C. Marshall and Mary Bell (Murphy) Richardson, was born on Jan. 29, 1924, in Pollocksville, N.C. He departed this life on March 25, 2017.
Marshall attended the Jones County Training School in Pollocksville until the fifth grade. He moved to Delaware in 1944, where he met and married Ionia Marie Handy, who had an infant daughter of her own, Geraldine (who now has two sons, Weldon and Wendall Hall), whom he adopted and claimed as his own. Many years after the marriage had ended, he reunited with his childhood sweetheart, Blanche, of Comfort, N.C. Dickerson Chapel Church would become their church home. Marshall joined the men’s choir and sang/hummed along until dementia started to rob him of his memory.
His work history consisted of various jobs, including chicken-catching, truck-driving, transportation shuttle bus driver, corn dumping operator and a construction laborer. He used his southern farming skills to grow vegetables, peanuts and grapes (which all of the neighborhood kids were allowed to enjoy).
Marshall was an example of God’s greatness and what God can do for anyone who has a mustard seed of faith. God took a man with a fifth-grade education, and gave him the skills, work ethic and knowledge to build his home back in 1959 (with the help of a few buddies).
He also became a self-made businessman by purchasing a small rundown house and renovating it to become his wife’s Ionia’s Beauty Salon, and later a rental property. He also purchased a second small home and turned it into a rental property. The entrepreneurial spirit that lived in him has been passed down to his children and grandchildren. “So ask yourself, are you smarter than a fifth-grader?”
In addition to his parents, Marshall was preceded by his wife, Blanche Lee (Rhodes) Marshall; four sisters, Katie Marshall, Clara Lee Duncan, Mary Elizabeth Stokes and Glennie Bell Darden; and a brother, William Henry “Ham” Marshal. He is survived by his five children, Teresa Marshall of Upper Marlboro, Md., Cynthia Basnight of Capitol Heights, Md., Frank A. Marshall Sr. and his wife, Elmira, of Richmond, Va., Bruce E. Marshall and his wife, Robin, of Seaford, Del., and Bryan P. Marshall of Frankford, Del; 15 grandchildren, Anthony Hovington of Washington, D.C., Tanya Hovington of Salisbury, Md., Keenan Marshall of Upper Marlboro, Md., Frank A. Marshall Jr. of Brooklyn, N.Y., Eric Marshall of Washington, D.C., Ericka Pearson of Virginia Beach, Va., Konya Crippen of Newark, Del., Nychelle Hartley-Scott of Baltimore, Md., Jeremiah Marshall of Woodbridge, Va., LaToya R. Holmes of Baltimore, Bruce E. Marshall Jr. of Birmingham, Ala., Robby Marshall of Baltimore, Bryson K. Marshall of Frankford, Isaiah and Ahmir Marshall of Richard, Va.; and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members.
A celebration of life service was to be held April 3, 2017, at Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro, Del., with private interment.