Terry’s Dad: A Life Cut Short

Charles Marshall, Germany, 1944

No politics over mashed potatoes at dinner

Terry, from A Rendezvous to Remember, Ch 14: High Stakes Gambling, Center, Colorado:


“After my father returned from the front lines of World War II, he threw himself into building the Marshall Produce Company, begun by his father in the late ’30s. Dad bought potatoes in bulk from farmers, then bagged and shipped them to wholesalers who stocked grocery stores throughout the West.

Charles Marshall, Center, Colorado 1960

“Mom was a housewife raising four kids. We didn’t talk politics at dinner. Or debate issues of the day. Or sit around reading great literature.”

We were the Anderson family, nurturing carbon copies

“No child or spousal abuse in our home. No alcoholism. No drugs. Dad and Mom were respected and active in the community: Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Masons and Eastern Star, the Methodist church. In summer we camped out and fished for trout. We were the Anderson family in Father Knows Best: parents nurturing carbon copies of themselves.”

Until that day in April 1961. April 10, to be exact. Dad and Mom were driving home from a Masonic conference in Pueblo. They got stuck behind a lumbering farm truck on the two-lane road near Monte Vista. Suddenly the truck veered off the road. In the next split second an oncoming car with a drunk at the wheel hit my folks head-on.

In those days—before seatbelts—Dad went through the windshield. Broke his neck. He died instantly. Mom broke both legs, along with several ribs. She spent months in the hospital and in physical therapy, eventually returning to Center to raise my younger brothers and sister.

Charles H. Marshall, 1918 – April 10, 1961

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