R. E. “Gene” Marshall

Raymond Eugene Marshall, or “Gene” as he was known to his friends and family died peacefully in his sleep in Bozeman on Feb. 21, 2018.

Gene was born to Otto Marshall (Ahti Marsyla) and Elma (Silverberg) Marshall in Red Lodge on Jan. 14, 1935. Gene grew up on his parents’ Willow Creek farm near Cooney Reservoir seven miles from Roberts.

He never took to farming life, though, and spent his early years trapping, fishing, hunting, boating, camping and engaging in a variety of boy mischief with his brother and friends Pete Bertolino, Jimmy Allen Billy Johnson, Junior Winters, Cliff Kober, Wally Yates, Junior Obert, Bob and Tom Teegarden and cousins Gary and Wally Stetson.

On Dec. 15, 1957 Gene married the love of his life Ethel Kathleen Hill in Red Lodge, Montana. Like Gene, Ethel did not want to stay “on the farm.” In 1958, with a loan from his father, Otto, Gene bought his first dump truck. Otto, too, wanted his children to become more than ‘just farmers” as the families had been for hundreds of years. Gene and Ethel had their first child (Doug) on Dec. 31, 1960. In the spring of 1963, Gene bought his second and last dump truck in Sandusky, Ohio while Ethel was giving birth to their youngest son (Rusty) back in Red Lodge. Gene worked on road, dirt moving, runway, paving, demolition and rock jobs in Montana and Wyoming between 1958 and 1979. Ethel cooked on a Wyoming dude ranch in the summers and carried mail for the postal service in the spring, fall and winter.

The family spent summers in Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Wyoming and winters in Roberts, skiing at Red Lodge Mountain and other ski areas around the state while the boys were involved in competitive ski racing before turning to basketball in high school. Gene loved to travel with his boys during ski racing season and loved to hunt, fish and boat with his family in the warmer months.

While he was a Finn by birth, “Gino” was an Italian by choice and loved his Italian friends, home made red wine, home-made salami, bagna cauda, and talking and drinking “Dago Red” wine with his friends. He learned about business from his Italian friends and his Dad who all correctly sensed that the economic days of the small independent farmer in Carbon County were numbered.

Gene and Ethel moved from Roberts to Big Sky, Montana in the fall of 1979 and later to their current home near Bozeman in the spring of 1980 where they have lived for the past 37 years. Gene worked as a truck driver for Kenyon Noble Lumber, Williams Inland Distributing and also worked for his friends Mike Boylan and Joe and Dan Sebena for many years both before and after his formal “retirement.”

Gene and Ethel spent over 50 years enjoying summers in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and on Yellowstone Lake, in particular. Gene loved to ski with his boys and grandchildren at Bridger Bowl well into his seventies.

Gene was a man of adventure, humor and intellectual curiosity. He was emotional and caring loved (and lived) to spend time on his boat the Prairie Rose on Yellowstone Lake either alone or with others. He loved reading, driving trucks, classic country music, talking with friends and family, the news, politics, the natural sciences, World War II and Montana history, and the art of Charlie Russell.

Gene was a Life Member of both the National Rifle Association and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was a 30-year member of the Bozeman Eagles Lodge and a dedicated voter. He was a regular contributor to a variety of Native American organizations and Montana Public Radio and Public Television. Gene was a smart, self-educated man who was curious and interested in the world around him. His interests in people, current events and Montana continued until the end of his life. Gene taught all of his grandsons to shoot, gun safety and to respect the environment and all living things.

He had a steady shooting hand, exceptional eyesight and was a great marksman who had success in NRA sponsored shooting events as a young man. Gene once shot the lead goose out of the sky near Roscoe, Montana, with his beloved model 70 Winchester 300 H & H Magnum. The feat was even more impressive as he killed the family’s Thanksgiving goose from the back of a horse. He shot a moose at over 500 yards and, amazingly, killed a water snake with .22 pistol from a distance of over 30 feet.

Gene passed on the “Marshall Rule” to his sons, which was that one should raise children to be “better” than the previous generations. He was a loving and kind man of tender compassion, honesty who worked hard to give his children a better life and more opportunities than he had. In this regard, he has set a high standard. His soft voice and gentle touch will be heard, remembered and serve as a guide to his loved ones for years to come.

Gene was predeceased in by his parents and cousins Larry Marshall and Joann (Marshall) Teegarden. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Ethel, brother Don Marshall, sister Barbara (Herbert), his sons Doug and Rusty (Julie) Marshall, his grandchildren Angela, John, Lane, Daniel and Chance Marshall and his great grand daughter, Violet Quinn Marshall and cousins cousins Ron Marshall, Joyce (Marshall) Kober, Gordy Hill, Sandy (Hill) Dernbach, Wally Stetson, Beverly Ledbetter and Judith Simmons. Just days before he died, Gene commented that he “would never see [his great granddaughter] Violet running in the grass again.” He is also survived by his cats “Jack” and “Tiger” who miss him dearly.

At Gene’s request, no services will occur. A Yellowstone reunion of Gene’s friends and relatives will take place this summer. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Montana Public Radio, the Charlie Russell Museum or the American Cancer Society.

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Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, July 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Monday, July 29, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 30, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.