Robert Greenwood Marsh
January 10, 1920
January 3, 2013
Robert Greenwood Marsh was born to Frank and Stella Marsh on January 10, 1920, in Fallon, Nevada. He died January 3, 2013, in Reno. A life that spans nearly 93 years is never easily summarized. In Bob's case, it is nearly impossible. He was a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, family patriarch, entrepreneur, adventurer, patriot, philanthropist, engineer, pilot, outdoorsman, lover of the arts, gardener, a friend to many animals--both wild and domestic--and a true original.
He was an extraordinary man, a force of nature, one who often seemed to bend reality to his will. He would routinely remark that the word "can't" was not in his vocabulary. (In fact, his family would bemoan those instances in which some well-meaning person would tell him he couldn't do something. His projects recently included re-tiling his kitchen and landscaping with large boulders around his home—these projects he initiated in his nineties.) But his family will remember him as the pillar. He was intensely passionate about those who belonged to him, and those of us left on this side of Heaven will miss the never-ending encouragement and support he gave us.
A strident supporter of education, Bob assisted countless family members, friends and acquaintances in their educational endeavors. One of his deep regrets was never having completed his formal education. After World War II, he completed two years at the University of Nevada, Reno while working full-time as a young husband and father. He attended classes at UNR in his late eighties, but regretfully never finished his degree due to hearing and mobility impairments. (Privately, his family wondered whether it was simply because he couldn't stand to sit still and listen to the lectures.)
Bob began his career as an entrepreneur selling root beer on the streets of Fallon as an eight-year-old kid. He graduated Fallon High School in 1937. He married his childhood sweetheart, Raylyn Albee, in 1938, and his beloved daughter Janet was born in 1940. In the years before World War II, he worked in many fields including mining and serving as the Standard Oil representative in Gabbs, Nevada. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, he tried to enlist in the Army Air Corps, as well as the other branches of the military, but he was heartbroken to learn he was ineligible due to color blindness. He joined the Merchant Marines and served on various vessels including the USS Darby in both the Pacific and Mediterranean theaters, ultimately earning the position of Deck Engineer. He owned several service stations over the years, as well as Club Taxi Company, Marsh Auto Wrecking and Reno Scrap and Steel.
He had a long record of public service in the Reno area. He was a long-time Mason and member of the Shrine. He was also a long-time member of numerous organizations, including the Greenhead Hunting Club in Fallon, the Humboldt Hunting Club, the Elks Club, the Rotary Club, the Reno Chamber of Commerce, the Reno Junior Chamber of Commerce, and various trade organizations such as the Nevada Towing Association. He served in various leadership capacities in many of these organizations. He served on the Truckee River Advisory Board in the 1970s and 80s. He was Chairman of the Reno Housing Authority in the 1960s, and he served in the Washoe County Sheriff's Auxiliary and Aero Squadron.
He always longed to fly airplanes and in the 1950s he was able to fulfill his passion as a private pilot. Beginning in the 1980s, he was well-known around town as the proud owner of an amphibious Cessna and delighted in taking his buddies fishing on Wildhorse Reservoir, mounting a small outboard motor between the floats and trolling from inside the plane. The Piazzo brothers featured him on their Sportsman's Corner TV program, noting a sign prominently placed in the cockpit: "If You'd Like to Smoke, Please Step Outside."
He had a certain theatrical bent, and in the 1950s appeared in many plays at the Reno Little Theater. He also had a walk-on part in the film "Captive City," starring John Forsythe, which was filmed entirely in the Reno-Carson area and released in 1952. He was an avid supporter of many community organizations including the Reno Little Theater, the Lear Theater, the University of Nevada, Reno, Bishop Manogue Catholic High School, Renown Children's Hospital, RSVP, Shakespeare Animal Fund, and the Nevada Museum of Art.
In 1964, Bob married the love of his life, Avis. They were blessed to welcome their daughter, Kimberly, in 1966, joking that they expected her to be born with gray hair. Bob never fully recovered from Avis's loss to cancer in 1997, but he carried on with his typical steely resolve. He joined a widows/widowers support group and cherished the many friends he made while they shared one another's grief. In latter years, he especially delighted in dinners held at Randy and Patty Idler's home at which he was always the cherished guest of honor.
Bob was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Avis, his parents, Frank S. Marsh and Stella Greenwood Marsh, his sister Phyllis Shaver, his brother Bill Marsh, stepsons Donald "Dub" Hudson and Guy Hudson, brother-in-law Fred Eby and sisters-in-law Erma Christianson and Dorothy Allen. He is survived by daughters Janet Marsh Wells (Howdy) and Kimberly Marsh Guinasso (Jason), stepson Scot F. Hudson (Debbie), grandchildren Shawn Landrum (Tim), Guy Wells (Jodi), Jenna Wells-Doto (Dave), Robert Guinasso, Adeline Guinasso, Stacey Hudson (Sam), Tammy Unruh (Troy), Penny Hudson, Mark Hover, Scot Hudson (Jeannie), Todd Hudson (Patti), Jaime "Skip" Hudson, Katrina Hudson and Jill Hudson, great-grandchildren Alexandra, Brönte, Savannah, Sierra, Beau, Kelsey, Lauren, Tyler, Hannah, Gage, Kayla, Sam, Eric, Emily, Lexi and Maleyah, daughters-in-law Rowena Harrison and Karen Hudson, sisters-in-law Bettejean Smith and Ann Sandwick, nephews Mike Patterson (Kathy), Barry Shaver (Joanie), Dennis Marsh, Bill Marsh, nieces Sharon Marks (John), Linda Yaegle (Kay), Susan Kleinman (Dennis), Kris Marsh, Kerry Sarras (Jan), Cindy Collins, Kelly Marsh and other numerous and cherished nephews, nieces and cousins.
A public visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Mountain View Mortuary.
A Celebration of Life will be conducted at Sierra Bible Church, 3195 Everett Drive, Reno, at 12:00 noon on January 10, Pastor Mark Evans of Warehouse Christian Ministries officiating.
A reception will be held immediately following the Celebration of Life at the Reno Little Theater, 147 E. Pueblo St., Reno.
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from Jan. 8 to Jan. 13, 2013