on June 22, 2013 - 9:33 PM
May 6, 1924 – June 12, 2013
Ethel E. Marshall, a prolific athlete who earned many badminton titles, died June 12 in Weinberg Campus, Getzville. She was 89.
Born in Buffalo, Ms. Marshall attended Bennett High School and North Park Business School. She was an office supervisor at Bell Aerospace for 23 years, office manager of Borden Chemical for 18 years and worked part time as a badminton instructor in the Town of Amherst Recreation Department for 50 years.
Ms. Marshall claimed 27 national badminton titles, earning her a spot in the National Badminton Hall of Fame. Her titles include being a seven-time U.S. National Singles Women’s Champion, two-time U.S. Doubles Champion and 11-time U.S. Senior Ladies Doubles Champion.
She was a member of the national Women’s 1957 Uber Cup team, helping to bring home the Uber Cup title that year.
She earned local and national recognition for her athletic abilities and, in addition to the National Badminton Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and USA Badminton Walk of Fame in 2003.
Ms. Marshall was also a sports clinician between 1967 and 1972, teaching badminton across North America. She went on to instruct 12 U.S. Junior badminton champions and several world-class players. Ms. Marshall also volunteered as an instructor at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf.
Ms. Marshall’s lifelong love for the game of badminton started at 16, when she attended a Friday night match hosted by women in their 30s.
“I thought, ‘This is a great game,’ ” Ms. Marshall told a Buffalo News reporter in 2005. “You’ve got to think. If you don’t think, you don’t win.”
The reporter spoke with Ms. Marshall after her fourth hip surgery in 2005, but the then-81 year-old remained in high spirits as she talked about her enthusiasm for sports.
“I like to have fun,” the self-taught player said at the time. “I don’t have time for serious people. You only have one short life, so you might as well enjoy it, and I really have met so many wonderful people through badminton and tennis.”
Survivors include her sister, Ruth Marshall Barth.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton St., Williamsville.
– Debbie Truong