JARS v56n4 - In Memoriam: Marshall Majors

In Memoriam: Marshall Majors
Hank Helm

Marshall Majors died on May 28, 2002, at his home on Bainbridge Island, Washington. His family was with him at his peaceful passing. Marshall would have celebrated his ninety-third birthday this summer as he was born on August 9, 1909, in Ripley, Tennessee.

He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in business. He served in the Navy and met his wife Edna on a hospital ship, USNS Mercy. He and Edna were married in 1946 and moved to Bainbridge Island in 1947. They moved to their Manzanita home in 1950.

The Veteran's Administration and the FHA employed Marshall during his early working career. He retired as area director of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1973. Marshall's great interest in education led to service on the Bainbridge Island School Board for twelve years. He also served as president of the Washington State School Board Association.

The very great passion of Marshall was his home and garden. Marshall spent over fifty years creating the garden with a magnificent collection of rhododendrons and companion plants. His garden was featured twice on the Bainbridge-in-Bloom Tour. Friends and family were encouraged to share his enjoyment. He was a long-term member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation and was elected to the Board in 1973 where he served until 1999. He was appointed to the Executive Committee and was its secretary during the first year of his membership. He volunteered his time recording blooming times of rhododendrons in the study garden for many years. When the intern program was started at the RSF, he was a very active supporter. He also encouraged the Kitsap Chapter in their participation in this program. Marshall became a member of the Hardy Fern Society in 1990 and served on their board of directors. He was a charter member of the Kitsap Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and was always an active participant. He traveled with Edna to many of the National Rhododendron Society Conventions. The Kitsap Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society awarded Marshall its highest honor, the Bronze Medal, twice.