Jack Marshall, one of the few remaining World War II veterans in Ceres, has passed away at age 91.
Mr. Marshall, who had been in failing health for months, was being cared for by his wife, Shanna Marshall in their Ceres home.
Marshall fought in the 82-day-long Battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, serving as a recon man. The battle, which went from early April to mid-June 1945, saw Japanese casualties of 77,166 and 14,009 Allied troops killed.
Marshall was born in Venice, Calif., on Nov. 6, 1924, as one of six children of Sarah Clayone Orchard and Clifford P. Marshall. The family moved to Berkeley for work. When Clifford's dad needed help on the family ranch at a Shoshone/Bannock Indian reservation at Fort Hall, Idaho, the family packed up and moved.
Jack stayed behind with his grandparents while his parents headed to San Francisco for work. Jack followed and attended schools in the Bay Area. While attending Oakland Tech High School, Jack would work weekends selling peanuts, soda and magazines as a "butch boy" on the train that departed out of Oakland and back. Jack was just 17 during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese but he decided that he wanted to join the Marines. As he finished up school early at George Washington High School in San Francisco, his mother had to sign for him because he was not an adult yet. He went to San Diego for training, and was off to the Pacific Theatre to fight the Japanese.
After Tarawa, the end of his Marine service had Jack assigned to China for nine months.
After his discharge in May 1946, Jack headed back to the Bay Area. He learned the trade of making and repairing watches in Alameda. He opened his own jewelry store, and then a restaurant. He also acquired Clary Business Machine Agency.
His first marriage to Doris Clare Jackson produced four children. Bill lives in Woodland Hills, Utah, Corrin in Ceres, Jean in Herriman, Utah, and Janet in Colorado. The marriage ended in divorce.
He and his second wife, Patricia, opened an ice cream parlor in Santa Barbara. She died and he became a contractor and land developer. Jack also got involved in California Republican politics. He served as vice president of the California Republican Assembly. He accompanied Ronald Reagan on a number of campaign stops. Then in 1972, Jack unsuccessfully ran for the state Assembly in the district that included Walnut Creek.
Jack spent many years alone until he met Shanna through the construction of the West Fresno Mormon Church. They were married on November 2000, Jack had moved from Hollister to Ceres to be close to daughter Corrin. Shanna was living in Fresno.
In recent years Mr. Marshall dressed as Ajax the clown and Santa to cheer up kids and those in nursing homes. At one time he was a docent at the McHenry Museum.