Obituary: Marshal King Junior
April 27, 1956 – June 19, 2022
Marshal P King Junior has passed away in Reno, Nevada after complications from a heart ailment.
He was born in San Jose to Marshal and Alice King. Within a year they moved to the house he grew up in, in Fremont CA.
Marshal proved to be academically and athletically gifted from an early age. He took up the trumpet in the fourth grade, and by the eighth he was proficient with every valve brass instrument. He was accepted into the regional honor band. In junior high he competed in a state wide French language completion. In high school he lettered in Varsity tennis as a freshmen. Academically, he was selected for the Mentally Gifted Minor program. He graduated from Irvington High in 1974.
At age 5 Marshal was taught to ski by his father, Marshal Senior. He gradually became an expert. When snowboarding became popular he took that up, quickly mastering it. He left the skis behind and eventually owned a quiver of premium snowboards. He got along well with the locals on Donner Summit, and was a popular snowboarder at Donner Ski Ranch. He also enjoyed mountain biking.
In the fall of 1974 he started as a freshman at Cal State University Chico, where he majored in economics. As an underclassman he met his future wife Ruth in a student apartment building. They became lifelong companions. In 1977 Marshal took a year away from school and worked all winter in a supermarket, saving enough money so that he and Ruth were able to spend the summer touring Alaska and Canada. He graduated from Chico the following year with a degree in economics.
Marshal accepted a job with the Fleetwood corporation in Chico, where he rose to become production manager. He served in this position for approximately 15 years. When Fleetwood moved their operation to Riverside Marshal left the company, preferring to stay in the area he and Ruth loved. Reinventing himself at midlife, he dabbled in real estate appraisal before taking a full time position as a mail carrier in Paradise California. He commuted up the hill every day in his red sports car. He was on duty on the day of the tragic camp fire. He was ordered to evacuate and made it home safely, but Marshal was clearly effected by the loss of this community. He retired from the postal service a few years later.
Ruth had a long and remarkable career as a local school teacher, and after her retirement the two traveled regularly, and took every opportunity to stay at the family cabin in the Donner Summit area, a place they both loved, and where they made many dear friends.
I remember being with Marsh at the ski hill, riding up on a chair lift. There was a skier coming down the hill, skiing excellently, and with great abandon. He caught our attention. Admiring him, Marshal said, “Man, his burner is on high!” Marsh would know. Rest In Peace dear husband, brother and friend.
Marshal is survived by his wife Ruth Hesket, her mother Joyce, both of Chico, brothers David of Fremont and Paul of Hayward, sister Sally Ost of Jacksonville Oregon, Aunt Pat King of Sacramento, six nieces and nephews and many cousins. A private memorial is being planned for the fall, on Donner summit.
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