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Darrell A. Marshall

Darrell A. Marshall

Darrell A. Marshall

CHADRON, NE | Darrell A. Marshall, 74, of Chadron died Wednesday, November 3 with his wife, Lou, and her children with him in the Fremont Hospital, where he had been taken after initially being hospitalized in Chadron.

He was a Dawes County native, a long-time Chadron State College employee and was well-known for his leadership in Veterans' services in both Chadron and Hot Springs.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Chadron at 10 a.m. Friday, November 12, preceded by Rosary at 7 o'clock Thursday night. A private inurnment service at the military cemetery in Alliance will take place later. Chamberlain Mortuary is assisting with the services.

The son of Alton and Lena Marshall, Darrell and his sister Deitra were born March 1, 1947 in the Chadron Hospital, one of three sets of twins born there early that month. He grew up on the family ranch near Marsland and graduated from Crawford High School in 1965.

Soon after graduation, he joined the Air Force and in 1967-68 he was stationed in Dong Ha, a combat post in northern South Vietnam that provided surveillance of troop movements across the Demilitarized Zone.

Following his honorable discharge as an airman first class in 1969, he worked on ranches, at a feedlot and was a partner in a construction business before being employed for nearly 30 years at Chadron State College. He initially was a repairman for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and 1996 was promoted to maintenance supervisor. He retired in May 2010.

During his tenure at CSC, he also coached the rodeo team from 1999 through 2005 during one of its must successful periods. It was when Will Farrell won two national collegiate bullriding championships and Dustin Elliott another in a four-year span. Elliott, whom Marshall recruited from the Oregon team while Darrell was attending the National High School Rodeo at Gillette, went on to win the Pro Rodeo Cowboys' Association bullriding title in 2004 and placed fourth in the world standings the next two years.

Marshall remained in close touch with both Farrell and Elliott and numerous other rodeo team members the remainder of his life.

Darrell married Lenor Baker of Chadron in 1979. She passed away in 1989. About a year later, he met Lou Wilson, who had come to Chadron to manage the Common Cents store. They attended church on their first date. She was from a military family and shortly after their marriage in 1991 both became deeply involved in Veterans' activities.

Beginning in about 2010 when Lou was president of the Auxiliary, she made most of the arrangements and was the leader in the preparations for many events at Bill Dowling American Legion Post 12. For the next decade the couple worked side-by-side in many veteran's-related projects on an almost daily basis and were generous with their own resources in making them happen.

He served as the Nebraska deputy representative for the Hot Springs Veterans Home and every two weeks they collected and delivered items to help make the residents more comfortable. For several years, they also organized and collected up to 500 dozen cookies baked by Auxiliary members from American Legion Posts along Highway 20 from Ainsworth to Crawford and delivered them to the Hot Springs domiciliary for the annual Christmas party there.

In 2014, Darrell and Lou were named the Chadron Record's Citizens of the Year for their Veterans' activities. That year, he also received a huge plaque from the Nebraska American Legion Department “For Distinguished Service in American Citizenship.”

The past two years he was the Legion's District Commander and was a member of the Dawes County Veterans' Board when he died.

A major highlight of Darrell's life was the close relationship he formed with Lou's children, who were adults when the couple married. She notes that each of them as well as their six children embraced him as their father and grandfather and they had many special times together the past 30 years. They are Jeff Wilson and his wife Lana, Greg Wilson and his wife Su and Wendy Roeh and her husband Jeff, all of Rapid City.

Other survivors include Darrell's sisters Deitra Coakes and her companion John Thies of Whiteclay, Susan Mintken and her husband Alan of Chadron and Marilyn Keller of Scottsbluff, several nieces and nephews and many cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, step-son Rusty Wilson and brothers-in-law Ray Coakes and Bob Keller.

Chamberlain Funeral Chapel.

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