Benjamin Franklin Marsh, 87, died peacefully on May 19, 2014, at Bridge Hospice in Bowling Green, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on April 30, 1927, to Lester and Alice (Smith) Marsh, farmers in Sylvania Township.
Ben's career has included many activities which made him an excellent role model for those interested in public service. He traced his interest in civic affairs back to his undergraduate days at Ohio Wesleyan University, when students signed pledge cards committing them to be active citizens in the life of the community. In 1959 he was recognized as "Toledo's Outstanding Young Man" by the Jaycees.
Ben served in the U.S. Navy (1945 - 1946) and as Personnel Officer of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (1950 -1954). After obtaining his law degree from George Washington University, he returned to the Toledo area to practice law.
Along the way, he had served as the Solicitor for the City of Maumee, a member of the Lucas County Board of Elections, President of the Ohio Municipal League, President of the Lucas County/Maumee Valley Historical Society and President of the Maumee Chamber of Commerce.
Ben was called upon by U.S. Presidents and federal agencies to undertake international assignments. These included being a delegate to the 17th General Conference of UNESCO in 1972, a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO from 1969-1975, a member of the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission from 1990 - 1994, and Elections Supervisor in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997 - 98.
Additionally, he had been involved in Republican Party activities in Ohio and nationally. This included running for the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio's 9th District in 1968, chairing the Lucas County Republican Party in 1973 - 74, Co-Chairman of the Ohio Steering Committee for Bush for President in 1988 and a Bush at Large delegate to the 1988 Republican National Convention.
Ben was a Past Commander of the American Legion Toledo Post #355 and in 2011 was inducted into the Ohio Veteran's Hall of Fame, honored for his many years of public service. He was a former member and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Medical College of Ohio. He was a National Chairman of the Ohio Wesleyan University Alumni Association. In 2000 he was awarded an Ohio Wesleyan University Distinguished Achievement Citation and had been listed several times in "Who's Who." Ben served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Foundation and Swan Creek Retirement Village. He was a Paul Harris Fellow with the Maumee Rotary, and served as an elder and deacon with First Presbyterian Church of Maumee. In 2002, Ben and his wife Martha were honored as "Outstanding Citizens of Maumee".
His hobbies included tennis, traveling the world with his wife and collecting historical maps, which added to his interest in local and world history.
Ben is survived by his loving wife, Martha; son, Sam Marsh of Maumee; daughter, Libby Marsh (John Casanova) of Philadelphia, PA; grandchildren, Cassie, Rena, Mattie, Benjamin and Hannah; sister, Mary Ann Otto (Richard).
Friends may visit at the First Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Broadway, Maumee on Thursday, May 22, 2014, from 3-7 p.m. The funeral will take place on Friday, May 23 at 11 a.m. at church, followed by interment at Riverside Cemetery. Those wishing to give a memorial in Ben's memory may donate to First Presbyterian Church of Maumee or Swan Creek Retirement Village. Coyle Funeral Home is assisting the Marsh family with arrangements. Please view and sign our online tribute at
Coyle Funeral Home
1770 S Reynolds Rd Toledo, OH 43614
Published in Toledo Blade from May 21 to May 22, 2014