Gordon Marshall, W6RR (ex-W6ITA), of Pasadena, California, died on June 2. He was 95. A top contester of a bygone era, Marshall was a Life Member of the ARRL. An entrepreneur, he was a trustee and generous patron of the University of Southern California, from which he graduated in 1946 with an accounting degree. Marshall grew up in South Pasadena, got his ham ticket in the 1930s, and, during World War II, he was a B-24 bomber pilot. In 2004 at USC, Marshall spoke about how his involvement in Amateur Radio led to his successful career in the electronics business. His Marshall Electronics, founded in 1953, went on to become one of the top five distributors of electronics components in the US.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Marshall was one of the longest-serving trustees in USC’s history. He joined the board in 1968, and served as its chairman and secretary as well as in other capacities. In 1996, Marshall donated $35 million to USC’s business school, which was renamed The Gordon S. Marshall School of Business. He also served as a lecturer at the school, and in 2005 the USC Alumni Association presented him with its highest honor, the Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award.
Marshall was inducted into the CQ Contesting Hall of Fame in 1996, and his Washington neighbor, Rush Drake, W7RM (SK), accepted the award on his behalf. Marshall was Drake’s neighbor during the summer in the Seattle area, and, when Drake dismantled his W7RM superstation in the 1970s and moved south, Marshall acquired his adjoining Foul Weather Bluff tract.
“I spent many hours at his place on Foul Weather Bluff, Washington, working on the clearing of land and construction of 200-foot AB-105 towers overlooking Puget Sound,” said Chip Margelli, K7JA, who knew both Drake and Marshall. “Gordon had a great view to the north, and the Europeans on 20 meters brought many a smile to his face over the years.” Marshall was a charter member of the Southern California DX Club.
Marshall’s name also was attached to the Gordon S. Marshall Chair in Engineering, the Gordon S. Marshall Early Career Chair, and the Gordon S. Marshall Professorship in Engineering Technology. He was a founder of the Los Angeles Music Center.