Mary Marshall

Honored by:Ron and Ann Ross
Brick location:D:13  map

Mary A. Marshall (1921-1992) was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for 24 years andexemplified the finest traditions of Carrie Chapman Catt and the League of Women Voters. An active member of the Arlington Virginia League who moved into partisan politics Mrs. Marshall first won election to the Virginia House in 1965. As a lawmaker she sponsored landmark legislation that modernized Virginia policies on aging and nursing homes, child care, health care, the mentally retarded, and a number of women's issues.

She also was the author of the state's first minimum wage law, the first car emission tests legislation, and the law creating a state child-care agency to coordinate health day-care and education services for children. A delightful self-effacing sense of humor masked her brilliant intellect and steely determination as she became one of the most influential and effective members of the male-dominated General Assembly.

Daughter of educators, Mrs. Marshall was born in Chicago and graduated with highest honors from Swarthmore College. She was an economist with the United States Department of Justice when she married Roger D. Marshall an electronics engineer. Later, as a housewife and mother of three daughters, she was active in the Arlington League of Women Voters and participated in the campaign to keep Virginia schools open and end the "Massive Resistance" to school desegregation supported by a number of Virginia officials. This led her into politics and a distinguished career of public service.

Mrs. Marshall retired in 1991 after serving 12 terms in the House of Delegates. She died October 15, 1992 of injuries sustained in a fall. Her granddaughter has described her as her family and friends remember her "a tremendous fighter a believer in the Jeffersonian art of compromise and a nurturer."

-Ron and Ann Ross (ISU '43)