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Published: Wednesday, 10/27/2010

Dean Marsh, 1917-2010: Ottawa County man led fire, zoning efforts


WILLISTON - Dean Marsh, a charter member of the fire department and zoning board in Ottawa County's Allen Township, died Sunday in Mercy St. Charles Hospital. He was 93 and had pneumonia.

He and his wife, Hazel, left their home of 67 years in 2008 for the Genoa Retirement Village.

He retired in 1980 as a supervisor at the Standard Oil refinery in Oregon, now BP Husky Refining LLC, where he was employed 44 years.

He served on the zoning board and was a former township zoning commissioner.

"I remember when folks would come to the house wanting to get zoning permits, and Dad would sit at the dining room table with them," his daughter, Sharon Ballantyne, said.

David Grosjean, the zoning board chairman who served with Mr. Marsh, said: "He was there to serve the community, no other reason - his community - because he truly loved it."

Mr. Marsh was a former treasurer of the township fire department he helped found, said Denny Hartman, formerly the township chief and now a deputy chief of the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District. "He was very proud of his affiliation with the fire department," Mr. Hartman said.

A Republican, Mr. Marsh worked at the polls in Williston every election day for more than 60 years and served as a precinct captain and presiding judge. He was a party central committeeman.

At St. John Lutheran Church in Williston, Mr. Marsh was the first president of the church council.

He was born Feb. 9, 1917, in Ottawa County's Rocky Ridge, the youngest of nine. He was 2 when his father died, and his mother moved the family to Curtice.

At 10, he earned money for the family as a caddie at the Chippewa Golf Club. He stopped golfing at 85 and was in the Chippewa hall of fame.

He was the 1934 salutatorian at Genoa High School.

Surviving are his wife, Hazel, whom he married Nov. 24, 1938; sons, Douglas and Robert; daughter, Sharon Ballantyne; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson.

Visitation will be after 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Robinson-Walker Funeral Home, Genoa, with a fireman's service at 7 Wednesday night in the mortuary. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. John Lutheran Church, Williston.

The family suggests tributes to the church or to the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District's Station No. 1 in Williston.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:


or 419-724-6182.

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