John Robert Marsh

December 28, 1952 - May 03, 2023


Obituary For John Robert Marsh

John Robert Marsh, 70 years old, passed away on May 3, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan after a battle with oropharynx cancer. John was born on December 28, 1952 in Chicago, IL, son of Lawrence Gene Marsh and Carmen Nanette Leavitt Marsh Osborn.

He was preceded in death by father, Larry and mother, Nan, brothers Guy Patrick Marsh, Thomas James Marsh, and nephew Ryan Marsh McNeil.

The second of six siblings, John is survived by brother, Mike Marsh (Debbie) St. Louis MO, sisters, Kay McNeil (Greg) Columbia MO, Kim Marsh, Tucson AZ, nephews, Christopher Marsh (Jenny) St. Louis MO, Thomas Marsh (Kathryn) St. Louis MO, nieces Sarah Beran (Brian) Manhattan Beach CA, Alie McNeil (Benton Boice) St. Louis MO, and six great nieces and nephews.

John grew up in St. Louis MO, attending Normandy High School. He was an excellent soccer player and one heck of a ping-pong player. He moved to Detroit, Michigan where he attended and graduated from Michigan State University in 1983. He later started his construction/restoration business which he maintained until his death.

John was the fun uncle to nephews, nieces, and extended family. His antics over the years continue to make us laugh and allow us fond memories of our earlier days together. He was forever young due to his healthy diet and exercise habits. He touted and lived by the benefits of a bowl of steel cut oats each morning, filling his fridge and freezer with bags of veggies, fruits, and nuts.

Although very private with a serious depth to his core, John also had a fun-loving sense of humor which is evidenced by the many cards and letters sent by him over the years. John was loved by everyone he met, including his family and awesome neighbors. His passions included golf and music. He was especially dedicated to his golf league buddies who he played with for over 40 years. John was a gifted musician; a lifelong student of the guitar. There was hardly a genre or song he didn't know and his fellow musicians/bandmates were loved as part of his music family.

He was, as everyone says “just a really good guy!” He will be missed by all of us who loved him. No doubt, he is showing someone a blues lick on the the guitar right now. Rock on Chicken!!

A private service will be held by the family. Donations in memory of John can be made to your local Habitat for Humanity.

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  • May 24, 2023

    It was an honor to be John's Golf team mate. He was a fun person to play golf with. And I learned quite a bit about golf and life from him. One story I would like to pass on was that John was a man of conviction. He told me about a time when he was a Juror, doing his civic duty. And after he had heard all the evidence, he felt that the person was innocent. And he kept that belief even though the other's thought the man to be guilty. After three days of deliberation it ended in a hung jury. John had done his duty, even though he wasnt't too popular with his fellow jurors. You just have to admire a man like that. I will miss John. Rest in Peace John, Bob Zaki

  • May 20, 2023

    I had known John for most of the time that he lived in Michigan. John was one of our small group of friends that regularly got together for golf, drinks, music, stories and lots of laughs. John was an excellent craftsman and took great pride in his work. When he couldn't do his best work he would not take a job. John was like a Hemmingway character in that he lived by his own code for life. John had enormous integrity, lived by his view of life, did not care for the extravagant and his word could be trusted. I will always remember his lessons on how to chip up onto a green and whenever I stray from his guidance I fail. I am so sorry that in recent times we were not able to get our little group together as we had for so many years. Rest easy my friend I am sure that you and Rick are now jamming out a blues tune.

  • May 16, 2023

    John was the most kind, thoughtful and caring person I have ever known. In the 40+ years I have known I have never seen him anything other than uplifting even when his golf game was not going as planned. When we meet again have a good scotch ready for me!

  • May 16, 2023

    John was like a nice old shoe that feels great every time you wear them. We would go 11 months without interaction but still the conversation would be right into the groove immediately upon seeing him. We shared our common interests in music and sports. We were diehard Detroit Express soccer fans, went to many games. He was a great coach and mentor to me in both arenas. I always thought the Marsh Brothers (Guy & John) would make a great band (with me on bass). They both were powerful musicians. Guy talked me into becoming a bassist which I am to this day at some saloon. John got me into guitar and expanding my tastes because he always looked outside the box. He taught me "Key to the Highway" recently which I will always remember him when I play it. We saw many shows along with my gigs he would always not sugarcoat his criticisms. He knew what he liked and called a "spaid a spaid". I will certainly miss talking to him, his infectious smile, his singing and playing. Phil Glennie

  • May 16, 2023

    John was a really great guy to know, having golfed with him for the past 5 years. He will be missed greatly by all of his golf buddies! Wish I could have seen him play the guitar!

  • May 15, 2023

    John was a great friend and a kind, compassionate man. He had a fierce independent streak and carved his own path through life. If you knew him, you never forgot him. I'm proud to carry on a bit of his spirit and will continue to toast him with a nice bourbon and a few cuts from musicians he turned me on to. Pat Nicolin

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