Former four-term Purcellville Mayor John D. Marsh died Monday at the age of 89.
Marsh was elected mayor in 1994 at the age of 62, succeeding Eric Zimmerman. He was re-elected to serve three more two-year terms, serving a total of eight years in the role. Before becoming mayor, Marsh also served on the Town Council for two terms from 1986-1994.
He also volunteered with the Purcellville Business & Professional Association and the Loudoun Historical Society, and served as the director of the Purcellville Preservation Association. After serving as mayor, Marsh remained involved with Virginia Regional Transit and helped to create transit connections between western Loudoun and the Washington metropolitan area. He also served as the president of Rotary International’s Leesburg Chapter.
Mayor Kwasi Fraser posted on Facebook Tuesday that Marsh “led our community during a significant economic growth period in Loudoun County and at a time when AOL CDs were in every mailbox.”
“We are thankful for Mayor Marsh’s dedication and selfless service to our community in laying the foundations on which we currently stand,” Fraser wrote. “May the peace which surpasses all understanding be with the Marsh family at this time.”
Marsh was born just two years into the Great Depression, on Oct. 6, 1931, and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He and his family vacationed to Purcellville each summer until they moved to Loudoun County in 1950.
Marsh attended Kent School in Connecticut before attending Washington and Lee University in Virginia. He left college to join the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict and later returned to graduate in the class of 1957. Marsh went on to become a financial consultant with Wheat First Securities and eventually got involved in town politics, following in the footsteps of his mother, Helen Hirst Marsh, who served on the Town Council in the 1950s and ’60s.
Marsh died Feb. 1. His family members have stated they plan to hold a celebration of life later in the year.