MONTE WINFIELD MARSHALL
1934 - 2021
On April 24, 2021, Monte Winfield Marshall, father of two, grandfather of five, made his transition from this earthly realm passing peacefully at home into the eternal surrounded by his loving family at age 86.
Monte was a unique, determined, funny, patriotic, tough, intelligent, and idiosyncratic free-thinking master storyteller of a man who demonstrated patience, fearlessness and kindness throughout his remarkable life. He was greatly admired among his innumerable friends, akin to an older or younger brother for many, including but not limited to Richard Dunn, Howard Nielsen, Sharad Bhakta, Ruben Negrete, George Granger, Steve Pavich, Steve Wilson, Chuck Markham, Buzz Goodman, Dr. James Keagy, Dr. Marlin Clark, and just about everyone he ever knew from his high school days.
Monte was born in Tulare, California in 1934. He moved to Delano, California a year later with his parents, Harold and Edwinna (Clark) Marshall, when his father established Marshall's Pharmacy in 1935 on Main Street in Delano.
Monte graduated Valedictorian from Delano High School (DHS) in 1952. At DHS, like his mother Edwinna before him and his son Mylon after him, Monte was Editor-in-Chief of the DHS newspaper The Live Wire. As a senior at DHS, he was voted both Most Scholarly and Best Dressed as well as leading the DHS "B" football team as starting quarterback to an undefeated season-the first team to utilize the brand new community sponsored DHS football stadium still in use today.
Following high school, Monte attended two years of college at UCLA. In the summer of 1954 after the Korean War, he put his education on hold for adventure by enlisting in the US Army for nearly two years, where he sought training in both 11th and 82nd Airborne Divisions where he excelled at parachuting, foreshadowing what would come to dominate much of his life four decades later. An early discharge from the army allowed him to resume his education to attend Pharmacy School at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1956. The Cardinal and Gold runs deep in his family--USC is also the alma mater of his father Harold, son Mylon, daughter-in-law Samrina, grand-daughter Anisa, and both his daughter-in-law's brother Saquib and their mother Dr. Suraiya Rasheed-the latter of whom still remains active as a USC Professor of Virology. Monte's enthusiastic Trojan loyalty was unshakable, a steadfast season ticket holder to USC football games through thick and thin for six decades. Following his beloved USC and Dodger games, he would invariably anticipate enjoying a post-game meal at his all-time favorite restaurant, El Cholo in Los Angeles.
Monte married Mignon (Rambo) Marshall of Earlimart in 1958. He graduated USC in 1960 to join his father in the family business at Marshall's Pharmacy. His son Mylon was born later that year and his daughter Milan a few years later.
Marshall's Pharmacy remained an iconic fixture of Americana for half a century before closing its doors. Marshall's boasted a soda fountain offering amongst other treats handmade fountain drinks, malts and burgers, personalized home prescription delivery services, and 24/7 after hours prescription services on weekends and holidays. He and his father Harold published their home phone numbers in the yellow pages so patients across Kern County in need could access a pharmacist to fill emergency prescriptions after hours. Through the decades, Marshall's stood as a family-run business that offered many a local youngster's first experience of employment. Monte practiced his profession of pharmacy for more than half a century.
Monte was an open-minded adventurer, often ahead of the cultural curve much of his life. In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s for example, he became a whole grain and organic natural food proponent, devoted himself to a lifetime of relentless aerobic physical fitness, practically pioneered the now fashionable "van life" in his trademark gold VW bus, and even installed solar panels on the roof of his Delano home. He always marched to his own drummer-and encouraged all his family members to do the same by advocating freedom of thought in making their own decisions on how to live their own lives without interference.
Monte was forever planning his next big adventure. "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room" was one of his favorite rallying cries. Monte loved airplanes all his life, dating back to his childhood. He also loved fast cars and motorcycles growing up. He started skiing in college in the 1950s which continued throughout the 1960s. His love of skiing never faded, but the 1970s and 1980s saw rock and ice climbing take center stage. An epic Colorado River rafting trip through the length of the Grand Canyon in 1970 inspired him and a few close friends to shortly thereafter attend the Yosemite rock climbing school, after which many years of notable mountaineering expeditions followed.
Monte married his second wife Rosa (Carillo) Marshall in 1989. From 1988 to 2003, Monte embarked on a series of international parachuting adventures in 16 different countries, including Mongolia, Guatemala, Jordan, Canada, South Africa, the Netherlands, Russia, China, and-yes--even the North Pole. He remained miraculously unscathed on all these exploits, until 2003 in Kabul, Afghanistan where he fractured his hip on what turned out to be the final parachute jump of his exceptional life. The challenge of extracting him out of Afghanistan in one piece fell to his son-a tense week-long undertaking which proved no easy task and depended on his limited $78 hazard insurance policy as well as the beneficent involvement of the only one of his Afghan physicians equipped with a cell phone, Dr. Enayat Nasser. Like so many of his life experiences, this true story plays out like a real-life Hollywood movie.
Monte served as role model for many young people in Delano through his many years of community involvement including engagement in local sporting events and coaching Little League. Monte served 8 years on the Delano Planning Commission in the 1980s. He organized a couple of annual 5K races in Delano, christening one the Great Grape Run and the other the Fool's Run in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He volunteered for the California State Military Reserve in the 1990s. He was a founder of the DHS Football Hall of Fame in 2009, which has become a beloved annual community event for the past 12 years. Monte was named Delano Homecoming Grand Marshal in 2013. In 2015, he was honored as Pioneer of the Year by the Mexican American Pioneers of Delano. He was also a perennial lynchpin in planning his DHS Class of 1952 class reunions.
Monte was very proud of his Delano heritage, taking delight in the fact he was right in the middle of seven generations in the Delano area. He has three young great-grandchildren in the area. His paternal great-grandparents Thomas Ewing Clark and Hannah (Hatfield) Clark moved from Illinois in 1889 and planted the first raisin vineyard in the Delano area in 1890. T.E. Clark was also the first in the area to install a gasoline pump in his well, and later became assistant DA in Visalia. Monte's grandfather E. Curtis Clark, son of T.E. Clark, planted some of the first almonds in the valley near Garces Highway before selling a few years later to A.B. Cate. His grandfather then went into local real estate, was President of the Delano Board of Trade in 1910, and later became Mayor of Delano in 1925. His paternal grandmother Etta Pearl (Hendrickson) Clark was perhaps the first female editor of Delano's local newspaper, a founder of the Delano Women's Club and was responsible for having the first bananas delivered to Delano's grocery stores in 1907.
Monte is survived by his two children, Dr. Mylon Marshall of Davis and Milan Shults of Delano; widow Rosa Marshall of Mammoth Lakes; step-daughter Denyse Velazquez-Freeman of Sacramento; granddaughter Anisa Marshall of Los Angeles; grandsons Anthony Zuniga of Bluffdale, Utah, Michael Zuniga of Bakersfield, Shaun Marshall of Davis, and Taylor Shults of Delano.
A visitation for Mr. Monte W. Marshall will be held Friday, May 14, 2021 from 3:30 PM to 6 p.m. at Delano Mortuary, 707 Browning Road, Delano, CA 93215. The following morning, Saturday, May 15, 2021, Pastor David Vivas Jr. will conduct funeral services at the World Harvest International Church, 925 Jefferson St., Delano, CA 93215 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Procession will immediately follow to North Kern Cemetery District, 627 Austin St., Delano, CA 93215 for committal services as well as a military honors presentation. Further information may be found at www.dignitymemorial.com.