Robert Pennock Marshall

October 18, 1924February 13, 2021

Robert Pennock Marshall

Bob Marshall died February 13, 2021 at home in the presence of his family. Born September 18, 1924 to Lewis and Ruth Pennock Marshall in West Chester, PA, he joined his only sibling, Jane Marshall Cox. Bob graduated from Westtown School in PA and William Penn College in Iowa. As a conscientious objector in World War II, Bob’s contribution through Civilian Public Service included work on the Appalachian Trail, providing care in a veteran’s hospital, a school for developmentally disabled, a mental hospital, as a smoke jumper in Montana, etc. Bob married Joy Cope on November 11, 1948. He met this Iowa farm girl in his hometown neighborhood; they later attended the same college in Iowa. Three children, Sylvia, Gwyneth and Bruce were born in Pennsylvania. Bob’s first post college job was teaching in a Pennsylvania private elementary school. Wanting a change and always interested in building, he became a carpenter. He worked in a Quaker redevelopment project in Philadelphia, changing a square block of old houses into a housing cooperative, remodeled by now owner occupants assisted by workers like Bob. After about ten years, Bob had an opportunity in 1966, to take a job with newly created self-help housing in Tulare County, CA, again started as a Quaker project and later funded through War on Poverty efforts. Tragically, his boss was killed in an automobile accident the day Bob and his family arrived in Visalia. Three months later, Bob was chosen to be the executive director of Self Help Enterprises, a job he held for nearly 25 years until his retirement in 1989. He was very proud of the efforts of SHE, providing opportunity for farmworkers, in groups of several families working together to build their own homes, with assistance of the SHE staff. When Bob wasn’t at work, he could be found on a playing field, coaching his children, grandchildren and others in soccer and baseball. He played tennis into his eighties, at the Racquet Club and on public courts. He was always eager to teach and encourage any players. Not content only to coach, he played co-ed soccer and softball in whatever league was available. Bob loved backpacking trips with his buddies to the Sierra Nevada, a summer project which changed to cross country skiing in the winter. Retirement brought new opportunities for service as a volunteer; on the board of C-SET, the Tulare County Community Action Agency, grant writer for improvements to Wittman Center, helping bring Habitat for Humanity to Tulare County, serving on Visalia Parks and Recreation Commission for four years, walking for CROP every year etc. The Visalia Chamber of Commerce, recognizing Bob’s achievements, named him Visalia’s Man of the Year in 1993. A lifelong Quaker, Bob helped establish the Visalia Friends Meeting and held positions of leadership from its creation. Survivors include: Joy, his wife of 72 years; children Sylvia Garrett (Ron), Gwyneth Marshall (Rick Minervini) and Bruce Marshall; grandchildren Nathan Garrett (Shelly), Jesse Garrett (Crissina), Chloe Minervini, Mallory Marshall, Erin Marshall and Nolan Marshall; great grandchildren Dakotah and Georgia Garrett and niece Heather Cox Cooke. The family is grateful to the American Care staff for the hospice care Bob received at home as he completed his journey. Tributes and condolences may be made at Arrangements entrusted to Miller Memorial Chapel, Visalia. Due to the COVID pandemic, a memorial service will be held when possible.


  • Joy Marshall, Wife
  • Sylvia Garrett (Ron), Daughter
  • Gwyneth Marshall (Rick Minervini), Daughter
  • Bruce Marshall, Son
  • Survivors also include grandchildren Nathan Garrett (Shelly), Jesse Garrett (Crissina), Chloe Minervini, Mallory Marshall, Erin Marshall and Nolan Marshall; great grandchildren Dakotah and Georgia Garrett and niece Heather Cox Cooke.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Robert Pennock Marshall

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February 26, 2021

Such a good, hardworking, conscientious man! My admiration for Bob knew no bounds. Our community was blessed by his presence.
His long life was a gift to all of us and knowing him was a roadmap to helping others. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Sherry Tietjens

Brian Thoburn

February 25, 2021

Mr. Marshall's life was an odyssey of service and devotion. He leaves a compelling legacy for those who aspire to community involvement.
Thank you, Mr. Marshall, for enriching countless lives and communities!