DUKE CENTER - Francis R. "Sonny" Marshall, 77, of Oil Valley Road, passed away on Wednesday (April 2, 2014) in Bradford Regional Medical Center Nursing Pavilion surrounded by his loving family after a short, courageous battle with cancer.
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He was born in Austin on April 28, 1936, the son of Francis and Sarah Marshall.
He was a graduate of Austin High School in 1954 receiving an appointment to Annapolis, but instead he attended Penn State Main Campus for business, where he played basketball for one year.
On April 25, 1985 in the Duke Center United Methodist Church, he married Donna Bova who also survives him.
He was a member of the Duke Center United Methodist Church where he also served as a lay minister. He was an active member and past president of the Otto Lions Club, never leaving home without his Otto Lotto Tickets in his back pocket. He was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and a 50-year member of the Masonic Fraternity in #258 Bolivar, N.Y., and #555 Duke Center. He was also one of founding fathers of Otto Township Old Home Days, adding to this day the beautiful fireworks display for which he organized funding.
His priority in life was his family and you could always see him at any sporting event where his grandchildren were participating. Those who knew him knew he was the most avid New York Yankee fan naming his only son after Mickey Mantle. His love of baseball wasn't just professional league, he enjoyed coaching Little League with one of his closest friends Bruce Milliron. He loved golf and playing in tournaments with his children and grandchildren.
He was a huge supporter of his community and you could find him at the helm of fundraisers for people in need or directing a chicken barbecue to raise money for local charities.
Sonny worked for 32 years for Market Basket Stores after which he retired as district manager, and bought the Duke Center Superette turning it into a successful catering, meat and grocery store. His motto was "You Can't Beat Sonny's Meat." He sold the business in 2000 but couldn't totally retire, so he lent his years of expertise working for small grocery stores as a consultant in Port Allegany and Coudersport. He was also the town supervisor of Otto Township.
Surviving besides his wife Donna are his daughters Voni (Bob) Walker, Jill (Roger) Petersen, both of Wellsville, N.Y.; Becky (Dennis) Campbell of Bradford, Jeannie (Danny) Drummond of Duke Center, and his only son Mick (Michele) Marshall of Bradford. He had many grandchildren he was so proud of and impacted their lives greatly, they are, Aaron Hess, Tricia Smith, Ashley Loper, Dustin Hess, Ryan Marshall, Ariel Stavish, Emily Marshall, Christian Hess, Gage Campbell, Sara Drummond, Seth Drummond, Sawyer Drummond, Melody Campbell, Erica Marshall, Samaria Campbell, and Carrie Drummond; two great-grandchildren, Maya Hess and Selah Stavish. He is also survived by his sister Gloria "Tootsie" Stuckey and many nieces and nephews and cousins. Also surviving is his previous wife, Nila (Toni) Layberger Burrell.
He was predeceased by his parents, Francis and Sarah, brother Gayle Marshall and sister Fay Kio.
There will be a visitation on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Duke Center United Methodist Church, 26 Oil Valley Road, Duke Center, PA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at which time a memorial service will be held with the Rev. Gary Sheesley and the Rev. Chris Stavish co-officiating. There will also be a celebration of Sonny's life on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Otto Township Fire Hall from noon to 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers donations are requested to be made in his name to the Bradford Hospital Foundation;
; and the Duke Center United Methodist Church.
Online condolences may be made at www.framefuneralhome.com.
Published in The Bradford Era from Apr. 3 to Apr. 11, 2014