Bob Marshall Sr., the former mayor of San Bruno, longtime business owner and community leader who was known as “Mr. San Bruno” because of his years of dedication to serving the city, died Tuesday, May 8, 2012. He was 77.
Marshall died of complications from a head injury he suffered several weeks ago, his family said.
A proud father and grandfather, Marshall had been a staple in the city for more than five decades.
He started in 1959, and it has become a family business, with two of his children now working at the real estate company.
In fact, has a real pull-yourself-up-from-your-bootstraps story to it.
Marshall's parents grew up in San Francisco, but they moved to Las Vegas where his father became a dealer at a casino. His father later moved his way up to becoming an executive host at Caesar's Palace. Bob Marshall himself was a shoe salesman before working his way up to getting in the real estate business, which he learned from his mother.
It has been that work ethic that has been instilled in the family for generations, his eldest son, Bob Marshall Jr. .
Marshall is probably best known for serving as mayor of the city for 12 years from 1980-91.
While he was mayor, Marshall was instrumental in getting the senior center built. The center has often been referred to as “The House That Bob Built” because of the effort he put into seeing that project completed.
In 1990, San Bruno . Marshall was instrumental in getting the agreement signed, and to this day the international relationship between the two cities still stands.
Most of all, Marshall loved the city and his loyalty showed.
According to his eldest son, whenever the San Francisco 49ers won a Super Bowl, Marshall would throw a party at City Hall.
“He brought a different image to San Bruno,” Bob Marshall Jr. said. “He ran the city like a family business.”
Mayor Jim Ruane, who received word of Marshall’s passing during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, said the city has suffered a huge loss.
Ruane, who is a family friend, said Marshall contributed so much to the fabric of the city that it will be hard to replace his legacy.
“He did so much,” Ruane said. “He wasn’t just a mayor that did it as a part-time thing. He had his business during the same time, and he helped a lot of people. He’s going to be very sorely missed.”
Larry Franzella, a former San Bruno mayor, said Marshall's leadership was impeccable and he was always able to move things forward in a positive manner.
Even after he left public office, Franzella said, Marshall continued to stay involved in the community.
"At any event anywhere, Bob Marshall was either there or supporting it financially," Franzella said.
In addition to having his business and being mayor, Marshall held many community positions in San Bruno and San Mateo County.
He was a former district governor for District 4-C4 for the Lions Club, former president of the San Bruno Lions Club, a life member of the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the Peninsula Bank of Commerce and a former president of the North County Board of Realtors.
Marshall was also Realtor emeritus with the National Association of Realtors and the San Mateo County Association of Realtors.
Just this February, the San Bruno Lions Club honoring him for his 50 years of service with the Lions Club. He received proclamations and resolutions from Assemblyman Jerry Hill, Mayor Jim Ruane, Lions Club District Governor Esther Lee and Lions International President Wing-Kun Tam.
Marshall is survived by his wife, Paula; his four children, Anne Oliva, Bob Marshall Jr., John Marshall and Stephan Marshall; and 10 grandchildren.
The vigil for Bob Marshall Sr. will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at . The funeral Mass will take place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the church. A reception will follow the funeral at the .