From Tracy Record
West Seattle blog editor
The referee. Ron Marshall died at the age of 73.
His death was confirmed by West Seattle’s First Lutheran Churchwhere he has been pastor since 1979.
Rev. Marshall was much more than a minister. He was a community champion – especially for nonprofits, especially the West Seattle Food Bank and the former West Seattle Helpline (which merged with WSFB last year). He was a longtime board member of the WSFB and has even written a book about the first 30 years of the board.
This wasn’t the only book Rev. Marshall wrote – he also wrote books on the religious thought of Martin Luther and Soeren Kierkegaard. In 2013 he led a celebration for the bicentenary of Kierkegaard and commissioned a statue of the Danish theologian / philosopher:
In 2017 he led a commemoration ceremony for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, for which the church commissioned a plaque from Martin Luther:
His varied interests also included the Koran, in which he taught a course with four sessions four times a year for almost 20 years – and switched it to Zoom when the pandemic broke out. His weekly services for the FLCWS have been presented as written liturgies on the church’s website (we have linked them weekly along with other churches’ services in pandemic format on Sundays), and you can read his most recent here. In the introduction to this page, Rev. Marshall noted that an online video service “would be inconsistent with our mission and the honor that it pays to historical liturgies (which require the attendance of the congregation). Hence the liturgies I offer are short, meditative in tone and solitary. “
He was by no means a loner himself, as he was known and loved throughout the West Seattle community. Local historian / journalist Clay Eals calls him “a giant”. In addition to the West Seattle Food Bank, Rev. Marshall was also a longtime board member for Northwest musicwhose director his wife Dr. Jane Harty. When we hear from his family we’ll add this here; Forest lawn takes care of the arrangements and informs us that there is no service appointment yet.