Rodney (Rod) Lee Marshall, aged 78, passed away unexpectedly on November 3, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey while traveling.
He is survived by his beloved soulmate and wife of 56 years, Marilyn (Otto), daughters Deborah and Barbara (Eric), grandchildren Phoebe, Dash and Mimi; his sisters, nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews; and his faithful dog, Petey. He was preceded in death by his parents Rhen and Gladys (Williams) Marshall; identical twin brother Ronald Marshall; son Richard Marshall; nephew Scott Marshall and niece Jane Harrison.
Rod was born in Wymore, Nebraska on October 5, 1942, 15-minutes before his identical twin brother Ron. His little sister Rebecca was born 2 years later, and the family moved to Beatrice after the war, where his little sister Martha was born 3 years after that. The boys worked at the family gas station and ice house on South 6th Street, by first standing on wooden crates to wash car windows at age 4. As they got older, they pumped gas, worked on cars and delivered ice.
After graduating from Beatrice High School in 1960, Rod earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1964. After college, he married Marilyn Otto, a 7th grade math teacher, and they spent 3 months exploring Europe together before returning to Beatrice to join his father in leading the family business, Rhen Marshall, Inc. He loved to travel his entire life, and took his family all over the world. Rod was a pilot, a Master Mason, member of the Scottish Right, a Shriner, a member of the Republican Party, the National Rifle Association, and a member (and former Elder) of the First Christian Church of Beatrice. He was a Sesostris Road Runner, and drove many children and their families from Nebraska to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, free of charge. He sponsored countless children over the years, so they could get free treatment at the Shriner’s Hospital.
Rod always had a good head for business, and enjoyed people. Under his influence, the family business grew to include 2 more truck stops with cafes, and an outside trucking and automotive parts sales business spanning 5 states. After selling the truck stops, Rod kept the outside sales business, but moved it online as WholesaleMidwest.com. He also sold and repaired accessibility supplies and installed handicapped home care equipment with a new company formed with his wife called Scooters, Inc.
Rod and his brother loved to hunt, and gained a number of very close friends who enjoyed hunting with them. Hunting was a family tradition that Rod was proud to pass along to his nephews and great nephews. After his brother died, Rod became even closer to his great nephew, Mikey Soberano, who continued to hunt and fish with Rod, and they frequently texted and spoke via phone.
Rod’s pride and joy were his three grandchildren, Phoebe and Dash (5-year-old twins), and Mimi (22 months). Phoebe and Dash had a special relationship with their Grandpa because he understood the unique bond that twins share. Rod and Marilyn drove to Minnesota for one week every month to see the grandchildren. Rod took the twins out to eat when he came up, never told them ‘no’, and took Dash (and Phoebe when she wanted to) fishing every day that the weather permitted.
Rod was an avid student of history. In particular, he read books on World War II and the American Civil War, and could quote authors, strategic decisions and battle details. In his travels all over the world with family and friends, they would walk battle fields, explore museums, and visit historic sites. This historical understanding led to his unconditional support of the 2nd Amendment – our right to bear arms, which “shall not be infringed.” Rod loved Cornhusker Football, and never missed a game. He had season tickets, and if he couldn’t watch in the stadium, he would stream the games. He and his wife also held season tickets to Cornhusker Ladies Basketball.
Rod was smart, hard-working, and honest. He was a good man who practiced what he preached, always kept his promises, and lived his life in the service of others. The world was a better place while he was in it. His loss is felt by many heartbroken family and friends.
Services will be held at a later date. Memorials are suggested to the family’s choice in care of the mortuary. Harman-Wright Mortuary in Beatrice in charge of arrangements.
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