Ethel E Marshall

May 6, 1924June 12, 2013

May 6, 1924 – June 12, 2013

Ethel E. Marshall, a prolific athlete who earned many badminton titles, died June 12 in Weinberg Campus, Getzville. She was 89.

Born in Buffalo, Ms. Marshall attended Bennett High School and North Park Business School. She was an office supervisor at Bell Aerospace for 23 years, office manager of Borden Chemical for 18 years and worked part time as a badminton instructor in the Town of Amherst Recreation Department for 50 years.

Ms. Marshall claimed 27 national badminton titles, earning her a spot in the National Badminton Hall of Fame. Her titles include being a seven-time U.S. National Singles Women’s Champion, two-time U.S. Doubles Champion and 11-time U.S. Senior Ladies Doubles Champion.

She was a member of the national Women’s 1957 Uber Cup team, helping to bring home the Uber Cup title that year.

She earned local and national recognition for her athletic abilities and, in addition to the National Badminton Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and USA Badminton Walk of Fame in 2003.

Ms. Marshall was also a sports clinician between 1967 and 1972, teaching badminton across North America. She went on to instruct 12 U.S. Junior badminton champions and several world-class players. Ms. Marshall also volunteered as an instructor at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf.

Ms. Marshall’s lifelong love for the game of badminton started at 16, when she attended a Friday night match hosted by women in their 30s.

“I thought, ‘This is a great game,’ ” Ms. Marshall told a Buffalo News reporter in 2005. “You’ve got to think. If you don’t think, you don’t win.”

The reporter spoke with Ms. Marshall after her fourth hip surgery in 2005, but the then-81 year-old remained in high spirits as she talked about her enthusiasm for sports.

“I like to have fun,” the self-taught player said at the time. “I don’t have time for serious people. You only have one short life, so you might as well enjoy it, and I really have met so many wonderful people through badminton and tennis.”

Survivors include her sister, Ruth Marshall Barth.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton St., Williamsville.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ethel E Marshall

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April 3, 2014

I'm sad to hear of her passing. Ethel was a great lady and one of the finest female athletes of her era. I coached at a badminton camp with her in the late 70's and early 80's and although she was a badminton legend and, I'm sure, quietly proud of her accomplishments, she was disarmingly unpretentious and genuine.

Don Rittmann (East Greenwich, RI)

Dr. Don & Bev Gilden

July 1, 2013

To Ethel's family-
Ethel was a patient at our office for many years. We loved her visits talking with her about her tennis and badminton. She was such a delight and we feel so blessed to have known her.

walter/Lisa Marquart

July 1, 2013

May you rest in peace, in the memory of Jehovah, our creator and GOD.

Ashok S

June 29, 2013

She will be missed. Taught multiple generations of WNYs the game she so dearly loved. She treated all who played in her badminton sessions as her family. Teaching with a mixture of tough love and laughter. I am a better person for having known her.

June 26, 2013

Condolences from the family of Gene Breitnauer a former co worker at Bell Aerospace

Coach Kathleen Garcea

June 23, 2013

Ms. Marshall was a class act! She along with Bea Massman introduced me to the game of badminton and some of my finest memories are playing with the two of them. They both had a positive impact on my career as a teacher.

Amy Lynn

June 21, 2013

Aunt Ethel. I loved your love for dogs sports and your laugh!! Lots if great memories to always hold on to.

Sally Willet

June 19, 2013

I lived a few doors down and across the street from Ethel. I used to see her pushing her lawn mower around the corner to mow other folks' lawns, riding her bike etc., until her stroke (or whatever laid her low about 8 or so years ago). Later. she would walk with a companion, ever so gallantly, still up to the challenge. I also remember she and Bea with their seemingly endless badminton championships. She was a champion through and through!

Joan Gravanda

June 17, 2013

Ethel was not only an amazing athlete - she was an amazing person, a wonderful friend and a true inspiration to so many. She lived a life of simplicity and integrity. Her generous, joyful spirit will live on in those of us who loved her deeply.

Michael Hacker

June 17, 2013

Please accept my sympathy. Ethel was a great person and I appreciate the time and encouragement she provided in helping me and many others to learn the game of badminton. She will be very much missed. -Mike Hacker