Barbara “Bobby” Jean Marshall, of Wilmington, died Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. She was 72.
Funeral services were held at Basilica Shrine of St. Mary.
On Feb. 11, 1940, God in his divine wisdom entrusted the stewardship of his “Earth Angel” Barbara Jean Marshall to the family of John Frank Marshall and Lillie Etta Marshall and her nine siblings. The Down Syndrome with which Bobby was born entitled her to a very special place in our family and in the lives of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Bobby’s education began in the days when there was no special education. So she attended Williston Elementary School until it was determined that she had reached her potential. Then later, when the first day center opened for persons with delayed disabilities in the old fire station located at the corner of 17th and Dock Street, Bobby was among the first clients to attend.
As the need for such a facility grew and advanced, she attended the workshop located at 13th and Kidder Street. There she was given the opportunity to work for a salary and attend skills instruction classes thereby advancing her ability much further. Due to glaucoma, Bobby became legally blind. After her mother’s passing in 1985, Bobby moved to Cincinnati to live with her older sister until 1995, when she returned to Wilmington.
Bobby and her family never thought of her as being different, except that her disabilities made her more special and privileged. Though beset with multiple disabilities, Bobby functioned very independently until a stroke completely debilitated her one day after her birthday in February of 2012.
Before the stroke, Bobby out-danced everyone in Mrs. Johnnie Mae’s dance aerobics class. She enjoyed bowling, bingo, art and attending fitness classes. Since that time, Bobby and her family have been blessed with medical care and services of persons who have loved and treasured her as dearly as her family.
After many, many ER visits, doctors visits to Dr. Persaud and Terry Ashby, P.A. and hospitalizations, as of Wednesday, May 27, 2015, Bobby exhaled for the last time releasing her from the pains of the earthly life, but immersed in so, so much love.
She is survived by her sisters, Minerva J. Brown, of San Diego and Marguerite M. Brown, of Wilmington; nieces, Marion Taylor, of Raleigh, Eleanor Jackson, Cassandra Davis and Rosalyn Hackworth, of San Diego, Peggy Messick and Florine McDougal, of Raleigh, Pamela Marshall and Gail Marshall, of Wilmington, Vivian West, of Alexandria, Virginia and Melissa Brown, of Charlotte; nephews, Donald Everett, of Wilmington, Alexander Brown Jr., of Greensboro, Terry Marshall, of Miami, Florida and Freddie Marshall Jr., of Wilmington; dear sister-in-law, Rosa Marshall, of Wilmington; several grand-and great-nieces and nephews; and a host of many other loving family members and friends.
Waiting to greet Bobby with opened arms and love was God the Father; her earthly mother and father; her brothers, Samuel, John, Matthew, Willie and Freddie Marshall; her sisters, Mildred Everett and Vivian Walker; special nieces, Donna Brown and Vernell Smith; and special nephews, Herman and Joseph Everett.
Bobby is now absent from the body her loved ones have known, but forever present in our hearts, memory and daily thoughts.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Davis Funeral Home.
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