A memorial service will be held today for architect Allen Marshall, who designed South Carolina’s Vietnam War Memorial in Columbia – the first state memorial to those who died in the war, and one of the largest outside Washington, D.C. – more than a quarter-century ago.
Marshall died Sunday of a stroke after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 75.
A Lancaster native and Clemson-trained architect, he also designed the World War I Doughboy Memorial and the J.W. DeLoach Memorial Bridge in downtown Columbia’s Memorial Park, and had just completed the design of a South Carolina monument to war dogs killed in conflicts from World War II to Afghanistan.
He offered his services on the memorials free of charge.
“Allen was a wonderful individual to work with,” said former Columbia Mayor Patton Adams, who was chairman of the committee that raised $350,000 to build the Vietnam memorial. “He freely gave of his time and talents, and the Vietnam War monument is a tribute to his willingness to contribute to his community.”
In addition to the memorials, Marshall designed more than 50 churches and scores of homes and commercial buildings throughout the Southeast, his wife, Sally, said. He also founded the firm Architrave, based in Columbia.
“He was never at a loss for new ideas and ways to draw them,” Sally Marshall said Wednesday. “He dreamed ideas for his buildings. When he heard that the memorial was to be built, he volunteered. He was so happy to donate his time to do that.”
Marshall was inspired to work on the memorials because a friend, Marshall Federline of Spartanburg, was killed in the war.
“We were friends in college and Marshall went to Vietnam,” Sally Marshall said. “He was a driver for a general and a month before he was to come home he volunteered for a combat mission. He wanted to do his fair share while he was there and was killed a week before he would have been sent home.”
The memorial, which carries the names of about 1,000 South Carolinians killed in the war, was the centerpiece of Memorial Park. It was dedicated in 1986 in a ceremony attended by Gen. William Westmoreland, the Spartanburg native who was overall commander in Vietnam, Secretary of the Army John O. Marsh Jr., U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond and S.C. Gov. Carroll Campbell.
“Although not a veteran himself, Allen served on the S.C. Memorial Park Commission, designed our WWI Doughboy monument in 2001 and was working with a local group on a monument to war dogs when he died, all of it attesting to his appreciation of the military service of others and his desire that none of them would ever be forgotten,” said Bud Ferillo, chairman of the commission that oversees Memorial Park. “That is his legacy to this community.”
The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church, which Marshall designed. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family. There will be a brief graveside service on Friday at 2 p.m. at Silver Brook Cemetery in Anderson.
In lieu of flowers, the family is encouraging contributions to the War Dog Memorial Fund, c/o Smith Barney, P.O. Box 7277, Columbia, S.C. 29202 or the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 6952 Saint Andrews Road, Columbia, S.C. 29212.