Lt. Col. USAF Retired Robert E. Marsh, 86, of Jefferson City, died Thursday, September 14, 2006, at Oak Tree Villas. He was born October 3, 1919, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, a son of the late Edna Mater and Arthur Fallon Marsh. Bob was descended from John Jay Marsh who arrived in Boston from England in 1633 and married Suzanne Skelton, daughter of Rev. Samuel Skelton, who was the first Puritan minister in the Colonies. Bob was a lifelong Presbyterian, and a man for all seasons. He was a career Air Force officer, in fact one of three Iowans appointed as regular officers to the new Air Force by President Harry S Truman. During World War II, he served as a P-40 and P-51 fighter pilot in the China-Burma-India Theater, even meeting with historic figures Mao Tse Tung and Chiang Kai-Shek in attempted peace making efforts. He was a Command Pilot in both the US and Chinese Air Forces. He was also a Master Missileer in the US Air Force. As a young man he dreamed of flying and yet took piano lessons for years, typical of his interests in both the arts and sciences. Later he attended the Citadel Military College in Charleston, South Carolina, and Iowa State College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Trinity University (Presbyterian) San Antonio, Texas and a Master of Science degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his military career, he studied with industries such as Martin-Marietta, Remington Rand Univac, and General Dynamics in connection with his work with the early missile programs. He served at military bases such as Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska; Vandenberg Aerospace Center California; and Whiteman AFB Missouri. After his retirement he became Executive Director of the Missouri Optometric Association; was appointed by Gov. Kit Bond as Director of Credit Unions (then numbering 479) and went back to association work as Director of the Professional Insurance Agents. The Lions Club was a very special interest. He was a Civil War buff and enjoyed fishing, hunting, his garden and reading. Bob was a true gentleman, unassuming, and loyal to his friends and family. He was an especially devoted and loving husband to Eileen, whom he married September 5, 1947 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He deeply loved his son John Jay Marsh, daughter-in-law Sandy Parkes Marsh and grandson Aaron Markham Marsh. Other survivors are his sister Elaine Marsh Crouse and husband Fred of San Francisco Bay area; brothers-in-law H.R. Leavitt, Kansas City, and Gary R. Leavitt, Denver. His brother Donald A. Marsh preceded him in death. Many nieces and nephews and cousins also admire Bob and will remember him as an engaging, giving, warm, funny, and brilliant man. Friends will be received from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Houser-Millard Funeral Directors û Jefferson City Chapel. Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, September 17, 2006, at the Houser-Millard Funeral Directors û Jefferson City Chapel, with Rev. Arthur Hughes, Minister Emeritus of First Presbyterian Church and Bob’s cousin, James Leland Rice of Indianapolis officiating. Interment with full military honors under the auspices of Whiteman Air Force Base, where Col. Marsh retired as Base Commander will follow in the Hawthorn Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Salvation Army; the Central Missouri Food Bank in Jefferson City; or charities of the donor’s choice. Arrangements are under the direction of the HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors û Jefferson City Chapel, 2613 West Main Street; 636-3838.

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