John Marston, yachtsman, craftsman, family man | August 22, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Community - August 22, 2018

John Marston, yachtsman, craftsman, family man

John Ira Marston, a resident of Atherton, started out as a fireman but spent most of his years working in pest control. As a sideline, he and his wife Alice would buy, live in and redesign houses, which led to his becoming a master craftsman in the building trades. When he wasn't working, he liked to fish, camp, hunt, and sail the San Francisco Bay.

Marston died Aug. 9 in Carmichael, California. He was 92. A graveside gathering and interment is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo. A memorial service for friends and family is set for 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28, in Carmichael. Call 805-703-0425 for details.

Marston was a native of Burlingame, the only child of railroad man Ira Webster Marston and telephone company operator Vera Mae Taylor. He entered the U.S. Army at 17 while still in high school and served as a medic in Japan and the South Pacific. He had photographs of the devastation caused by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, his daughter Denise Morey said.

After the war, Marston earned his high school diploma and an associate degree in entomology at the College of San Mateo, which was instrumental in his purchase of a pest control company that he managed for more than 40 years, his daughter said.

In 1950, Marston married Alice Chambliss who, during their 68 years of marriage, cultivated her passions as an artist and interior decorator. The couple had three children.

As members of the Coyote Point Yacht Club, they owned sailboats large enough to have bunks inside.

Marston was known for his infectious sense of humor. "He was a wonderful dad," Morey said. "We're all just aching from missing him."

He enjoyed owning vehicles of all types, his daughter said. He would visit Atherton mansions destined for destruction and cut deals for beams and hardwood flooring to use back at home. "He was a real wood scavenger," his daughter said.

Marston and his wife loved to dance; he enjoyed jazz standards, folk music and rock and roll, but nothing edgy, his daughter said. He came to prefer classical music toward the end of his life, she said.

Marston is survived by his wife Alice Marston; his daughters Denise Morey and Louise Valerie Marston; his son Eric Marston; six grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

The family asks that condolences be sent to Alice Marston, 4050 Walnut Ave. in Carmichael, California, 95608.


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