Remembering Joe Marshall

Joe and Jane Marshall walking the Hammonasset section of the greenway trail.

Joe and Jane Marshall on the Hammonasset section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail.

It is with great sadness that we pass along news of the death of our friend Joe Marshall, the founder and an at-large board member of Shoreline Greenway Trail, on January 7, 2018.

Joe was the instigating force behind the Shoreline Greenway Trail. Returning from a visit to the East Bay Bike Path in Barrington, Rhode Island, in the summer of 2000, he wondered, “Why can’t we have a trail like that around here?” He gathered a group on his porch in Guilford for a series of meetings, and SGT was born a year later.

Joe’s dedication to SGT didn’t stop at its formation. He was deeply involved in our annual membership drives, worked with the news media to get the word out, and wrote a monthly newspaper column about the need for more walking and biking trails on the Shoreline. He was a member of the SGT Board of Directors for 15 years, staying engaged and active as long as he was physically able. He chaired the nominating committee until 2014, and at every board meeting he could be counted on for zesty, on-point insight and an upbeat wit that left us chuckling. Joe never let a disagreement get in the way of friendship, and in that sense, he set a tone of camaraderie and cooperation that has defined SGT’s working relationships to this day.

Joe was a gentleman—polite, modest, always optimistic. People who knew him use phrases like “a spark” and “full of life” to describe him. We are saddened by Joe’s passing and grateful for both his friendship and his enormous contributions to the Shoreline Greenway Trail.

A funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, January 27, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 122 Broad Street, in Guilford. We offer our condolences to his widow, Jane Marshall, and the rest of Joe’s family.