“Well done, thou good and faithful servant; … enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”
As Senior Warden during a year packed with reflections on where we are and where we ought to go as a parish, Marshall became the driver for turning strategic planning to strategic action. He was the right person at the right time. Working with Tracy Ragsdale, John, Eleanor and many others, he led us in driving the strategic planning process to thoughtful and productive conclusions. But plans are no good if they stay on the shelf. With a consistently gracious manner and a velvet hammer, he kept the vestry and others focused on delivering real results. He went about quietly, often behind the scenes, leaving great ideas and inspired colleagues in his wake. Even when his family home was badly burned in a fire, he missed no meeting, no job and no beat. Under crushing pressure, he kept his gentle good humor. His quiet, throwaway comments were some of his best.
Breaking institutional habits and driving change are inherently disruptive and potentially alienating. The enthusiastic response from the St. Mary’s family is a testament to Marshall’s effective but humble leadership.
His service as Senior Warden is done. But his service to the parish is not. We will continue to need him, and there is no doubt he will continue to be there for the call.