Robert Norman Marshall – of Reading, peacefully passed Monday morning April 5, 2021 at the age of 66. Beloved husband of Rosemary Marshall. Dedicated father to Jared Marshall, Nicole Johnson, and her husband Russ Johnson. Adored brother of Richard and Bruce Marshall. Loving uncle to Carl Marshall, Christopher Marshall, Dr. Genevie Marshall and Jessica Damseaux. He was an admirable man to many and will be dearly missed. Please Join us in remembrance of the great life of Robert Marshall. The services will be from 1-4pm at Cota Funeral Home in North Reading on Sunday April 11, 2021. His burial will be at 11am at Wood End Cemetery in Reading on Monday April 12, 2021.
You may not have known Bob Marshall, but he was someone you would have wanted to know. He was born on March 24, 1955 as Robert Norman Marshall. He received his middle name in remembrance of his uncle who died in the Korean War. Youngest son of Donald and Hazel Marshall, he had two older brothers Bruce and Rick Marshall. He grew up in the quite neighborhood of Greenwood Wakefield, where he and his older brothers made a conscious effort to interrupt the silence. His parents were stern but loving, even when he pushed his luck. At the family dinner table when he declined to finish a home cooked meal, his parents would state “You know, there are starving children in China.” In a spirited mood he would sometimes retort “Well send it to them then”, in which he would receive a justified scolding. All three of the boys had their fair share of spirited moments, some of which resulting in unintended consequences. One story accounted of a time he was riding his bike down the street and was stopped by larger older boy who knew Rick. He asked him if he was a Marshall and after a non-responsive stare, was sucker punched off his bike. Despite the bruises and cuts, he never let it damage his spirit.
He was an active kid, who kept busy with a paper route and playing sports. His forte was basketball, and his classic move was a hook shot off the block that was reminiscent of Kareem. He never lost his love for basketball and many years later he instilled that same passion for the game in his son. After high school, he went to UMass Lowell to study dentistry. However, he soon realized that drilling and filling cavities was not his calling. Instead, he bartended, a modest job, but one he met many memorable and enduring friends through. He first worked at the old Colonial and then at the 99s of Lynnfield. Even after he stopped working at these locations, whenever he returned, he was met with friendly faces and warm welcomes.
Bob was a true craftsman, who could build anything he put his mind to. His first great project was his iconic Plymouth Roadrunner. It was the first car he bought, and as a teen he was determined to turn it into a rocking hotrod that would leave his friends in the dust. All by himself, he dismantled the engine down to its bare block and progressively worked to build it bigger and stronger. He often biked down to the nearest NAPA Auto Parts store for advice and read every instructional manual he could. As the story is told, when he finally turned the key and the engine came back to life, the roar of the exhaust could be heard through the entire neighborhood. Bob’s father was utterly impressed that his son was able to start the car and relieved to finally get his garage back.
Cars and traveling would play an important role in Bob’s life and career. While he never traveled to places like Europe or Asia, he knew most of this country like the back of his hand. His journey across the State’s first began in the backseat of a station wagon when his family went on a cross-country road trip. He would continue to familiarize himself with towns and cities across the U.S. throughout his life.
Bob was someone who appreciated the value of all aspects of life. So, when he eventually became a real-estate appraiser it was a natural transition of careers. In real-estate Bob quickly found success and something he genuinely enjoyed doing. He would eventually work for Tyler Technologies and dedicate over 30 years of his life to the company. Working at Tyler was his dream job and it manifested in his performance. As a senior salesman in the appraisal and tax division, he received the award of Account Executive of the Year in 2016 and 2017. After closing several multi-million-dollar deals, he earned the well-deserved nickname “Big Job Bob”. Most importantly though, the people he worked with were like a second family to him.
When outside the office, he could often be found on the lynx with these friends. Golf was an incessant passion throughout his life and even when is health prevented him from playing, he envisioned getting back into condition to play with his son. One of his fondest memories was when he was able to attend the Masters, something on every avid golfer’s bucket list.
Being the sports enthusiast he was, it was natural that Bob was one of the biggest New England fans. Whether it was the Sox, Bruins, Celts or Pats, he was always watching and rooting for another banner. To the dismay of fellow coworkers and clients, he frequently bragged of the recent successes of the Patriots and the genius of Belichick.
Of all the facets of Bob Marshall, his family was the one dearest to him. He spent much of his life intending to settle down but never met the perfect someone. While at a favorite restaurant with his best friend David “DC” Costello, he noticed a beautiful new bartender named Rosemary. After getting to know her, he realized she was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Bob was more than ecstatic to bring Rosemary and her charming young daughter Nikki into his life. Shortly after marriage they had a son, Jared, the apple of his eye. Bob embraced the role of fatherhood wholeheartedly and cherished every second of it. From sporting occasions to school events, he always tried to be there and wanted to ensure his kids were happy and prospering. Bob enjoyed taking his family on exciting trips and excursions and never turned down the opportunity to host loved ones. His love exceeded his wife and kids and enveloped his brothers, nieces, nephews, and friends. He was a standup man and a true role model to those around him.
After a long fight with heart disease, he passed peacefully beside his dear wife and beloved son.
I love you, Dad, and know you are doing well wherever you are. I would not be the person I am without you and I am forever grateful to have had you as my father. Love always, Jared.
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