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Columbia Missourian

Co-founder of Missouri Pride Fastpitch Softball remembered for love of coaching, family

By Kayla Kauffman
July 16, 2012 | 9:05 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — George Marshall, cofounder of Missouri Pride Fastpitch Softball, is remembered for both his love of coaching and his love for his family.

"George’s passions were many and varied," his wife Dianne Marshall said.

"Coaching softball became a full-time job, without the pay. All of the time he spent coaching was voluntary and unpaid," she said. "But he loved coaching the kids, teaching them life lessons and watching them grow into adults."

George H. Marshall of New Franklin died of pancreatic cancer Friday, July 13, 2012. He was 65.

Mr. Marshall was born Nov. 24, 1946, in Enid, Okla. to George and Edna Bridgers Marshall. He married Dianne Wiemholt on March 20, 1976.

He served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps from 1967 to 1970. He later worked at MU as a Data Center manager before retiring in 2002.

In 2000, Mr. Marshall and his daughter Kacey founded the Missouri Pride Fastpitch Softball Organization, after he spent 15 years working as an umpire and coaching his daughter's softball teams and son's baseball teams. 

Since then, the organization has blossomed into a competitive softball club that regularly sends players to collegiate softball programs. To be the best coach he could be, Mr. Marshall was a perpetual student of the game, Dianne Marshall said.

"Over the years George has coached and mentored hundreds of young girls in the game, equipping them with the skills and character traits they need to succeed," Dianne Marshall said. "He felt strongly about responsibility, commitment, dedication, accountability and learning to be a team player, all of which are important not only on the field but in life as well." 

In addition to coaching softball, Mr. Marshall kept busy with a wide variety of activities.

He lived on a 13-acre farm and enjoyed tending his yard and observing wildlife every day. According to his wife, the most precious thing in Mr. Marshall’s garden was his trees.

“His trees were his babies,” she said. “He checked on them and talked to them daily.” His favorite trees were white oaks that he sprouted himself from acorns.  

In his own backyard, Mr. Marshall loved to watch deer, turkeys, raccoons, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, squirrels and many types of birds. He could identify birds by sight and sound. 

In addition to loving wildlife in his own yard, Mr. Marshall loved watching a live stream of the bald eagles in Decorah, Iowa, while he ate breakfast or while sitting on his deck. 

Mr. Marshall also loved classic cars and tractors and enjoyed restoring and driving a 1984 Ford Mustang convertible. He was a member of the Central Missouri Mustang and Ford Club and attended several car shows a month. He and his son Mike bonded over their love of cars and attended several of the shows together.

Mr. Marshall made it his goal to visit every state park in Missouri, and he and his wife enjoyed biking together on the Katy Trail.

Most important to Mr. Marshall was his love of family and supporting their interests.

He is survived by his wife, Dianne Marshall, of New Franklin; a son, Mike Marshall, of Columbia; a daughter, Kacey Marshall, of Columbia; and a sister, Jerry Schneider, of Banning, Calif. 

His sister, Maxine Nelson, died earlier. 

Service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Bible Baptist Church in New Franklin. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. 

Memorial contributions can be made to The American Cancer Society in care of Markland-Yager Funeral Home, P.O. Box 126, New Franklin, MO 65274.