Michael Marshall

Michael Neill Marshall passed away at home Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, after a short illness. He was surrounded by his loving wife, Katherine Ione Morgan, and adoring children, Neill (Mary), Michael (Becky), Marjorie (Bobby) and Robert (Missy). Service: The family will host a memorial service at 1 p.m. Saturday at Restland Coppell Chapel, 400 S. Freeport Parkway, Coppell. Mike Marshall was a man's man, a Marine's Marine, a cocksure aviator with an easy disposition. He was born May 19, 1938, in Gilmer to Marjorie Katherine Clemmer and William Neill Marshall. His family moved to Tyler where he attended Tyler High School, played on the 1955 state final football team, and graduated in 1956. He followed in his father's and brother Patrick's footsteps and attended Texas A&M. In a letter home his freshman year, he wrote, "Boy, I am learning to respect what Dad and Pat have gone through ... every time I see Pat leading his squad, I just swell up with pride. I want everyone to know he's my big brother." He was crazy about his little dolls, his younger sisters, Katie, Mary Helen and Louise. Towards the end of his second semester at A&M, Mike applied and was accepted into the Navy's Naval Aviation Cadet program. With his mother and father's blessing, he left Aggieland for Pensacola, Fla., and Navy aviator flight school. He completed training and transferred into the Marine Corps to fly jets ... he got helicopters. His first assignment was the Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. His future wife, Katherine Ione Morgan, was a coed at the University of Hawaii. They met on a blind date, fell in love and eloped to Las Vegas where they were married Dec. 17, 1960. After separating from the Marine Corps, Mike accepted a job offer from the CIA-backed airline Air America. He and Katherine and their year-old son, Neill, moved to Udorn, Thailand, where he flew UH-34s in support of the Royal Lao Army in its war with the communist Pathet Lao. It was a great adventure until he was shot down and had to evade capture. It was great fun until he made a navigation error, unintentionally flew over Vietnam and found the South China Sea; he made it back to base flying on fumes. After returning from Southeast Asia, Mike was a helicopter instructor for the Army at Fort Rucker, Ala., welcomed his second son, Michael, and then flew for a short time for Los Angeles Airways. In 1967 he was hired by Braniff International Airways and flew as flight engineer. His beautiful daughter, Marjorie, was born in 1968 and he joined the Marine Corps Reserve unit at Navy Dallas. Robert, a third son and final child, arrived in 1971 and life was put on autopilot ... until his beloved Braniff suddenly ceased operations in 1982. Mike was lucky enough to get picked up by Piedmont Airlines, flew as a B-737 captain and retired in 1998. Post-retirement found Mike and Katherine enjoying their 11 grandchildren, vacationing one month a year in Maui and watching old movies together at the kitchen counter. He was preceded in death by his mother; father; and two sisters, Katie and Mary Helen. Survivors: Wife; four children; brother; sister; three daughters-in-law; one son-in-law; and 11 grandchildren.

Funeral Home

Rolling Oaks Funeral Home
400 FREEPORT PKWY Coppell, TX 75019
(972) 745-1638

Published in Star-Telegram on Dec. 20, 2013