Zavalla JP praised by those who knew him

ZAVALLA, TX (KTRE) - Angelina County officials are mourning the death of Claude Fonzy Marshall, 62, the at-large justice of the peace for Pct. 3. Marshall died around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

He is survived by his wife, Doiljean, and 2 children and four grandchildren.

Jim Wark, the Democratic Party chairman for Angelina County, said Marshall's brother found the justice of the peace unconscious at the Zavalla Substation Courthouse Monday. Marshall was transported to Woodland Heights Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead early Wednesday morning.

"On the whole I have heard nothing but good comments on Claude over the years that I have been the county chair," Wark said. "All I can say is rest in peace Claude."

"Today is a sad day for Pct 3 and the family and friends of Claude Marshall. My prayers and heart go out to all that have loved, met and had the chance to know this man, I am truly honored to have worked side by side with JP Marshall; he is a wonderful man and will be deeply missed," Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Bradley wrote on his Facebook page. "RIP, JP CLAUDE MARSHALL."

Judge Billy Ball said he has known Marshall for almost 20 years and was very close to him and his family.

"He was just a guy that enjoyed Life," Ball said. He loved his family and was just very family oriented."

It is believed that Marshall suffered a massive stroke.

Marshall was serving out the remainder of the at-large justice of the peace term. Angelina County Commissioners voted to eliminate the county's Precinct 5 and consolidate precincts 3 and 4. Before that move, Marshall was the Precinct 4 justice of the peace. He served as the Pct. 4 JP for the better part of a decade. County Judge Wes Suiter said that at this time he is reviewing the regulations to see if his post will be filled until the election.

"Some people would have said, I'm just not going to show up anymore,' Angelina Co. Sheriff Greg Sanches said. "He didn't look at it that way. He knew he was getting paid and he showed up."

A visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Shawnee Church of Jesus Christ. A public funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday also at Shawnee Church on US 69 South.

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