Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

John O Marshall

Spokane, Washington

January 26, 2016

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
49 USMC/Army Lt Col

35th Forward Surgical Team

 Cause of death under investigation.

John O. MARSHALL (1966 - 2016)


Dr. John O. Marshall died tragically on January 26, 2016. He was the Chief of Surgery at the VA Medical Center, Spokane. John was on his way to work after a morning jog in downtown Spokane, with his feet pounding the pavement and his favorite tunes in his ears. And that's about all we know about that. What we do know is that his wife and two children were the center of his life and that he never meant to leave them. He is survived by hundreds of family, friends, fellow service members, colleagues, and patients who will remember his character and miss his companionship. A 4th-generation Marine, John served in 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines out of Ft. Pendleton and performed as a Communications Officer in multiple conflicts including the LA Riots and Somalia. He separated as a Captain and moved back to the East Coast from where he originated to enroll in a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program. There he met his wife Suzan in Organic Chemistry. John and Suzan went on to receive their medical degrees at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and John surprised her with an engagement/wedding while they were on vacation (she said, "yes"). They then survived general surgery residency programs in Harrisburg and York, PA. John deployed after the 5-year program to Asadabad, Afghanistan as a combat surgeon for the 2nd Forward Surgical Team. John and Suzan met up the following year at the 121st Combat Support Hospital, Yongsan, Seoul, S. Korea, where John also commanded the 35th Forward Surgical Team. After 4 years of US Army Service and John at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, the Marshalls returned to the US with their two beautiful children, Liam from S. Korea and Elle from China. They chose the Northwest to raise their family and bought a peaceful horse farm. Sadly, their life with John ended abruptly, but they will live on with his spirit, surrounded by love and support from an entire community.
West Coast Service at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, February 13, 1:00.
East Coast Service at Marine Memorial Chapel, Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA, March 5, Noon.
Donations for both services are gratefully accepted through gofundme.com/buyy7337.

Published in Spokesman-Review from Feb. 7 to Feb. 10, 2016

For some memorial service snapshots, Click photo below:

February 13, 2016

From KHQ Q6 khq.com 02/01/16

Wife of Spokane VA doctor wants to 'turn this tragedy around'

Posted: Feb 01, 2016 3:23 PM PST
Updated: Feb 01, 2016 3:23 PM PST
by Matt Pusatory, KHQ Local News Web Producer

SPOKANE, Wash. -
The wife of Spokane VA doctor John Marshall spoke with KHQ's Patrick Erickson Monday.

Suzanne Marshall issued a statement saying they will move forward and turn the tragedy around. She told KHQ she's working on setting up a foundation in John's name. The memorial for John Marshall is scheduled for Saturday, February 13, at 1 p.m. at St. John's Cathedral. It is open to the public.

Read Suzanne's full statement to the community below:

Thank you to the 100s of people who have put their loving arms around us. The support is overwhelming. We will move forward, turn this tragedy around and use John's life not his death to inspire, to connect, to effect change. We will as a community pull John from the rapids and save his spirit if not his life. 
Suzanne is expecting about 500 to 1,000 people to attend the memorial service Saturday.

The investigation into the circumstances surrounding John Marshall's death is still ongoing.
From The Daily News nydailynews.com 01/27/16:

Missing VA surgeon found dead in Washington state river; police investigating death as suspicious
BY MEG WAGNER NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 1:57 PM

The body of a missing VA surgeon was found floating in a Washington state river Tuesday, officials said.

An official cause of death for Spokane doctor and former Marine John Marshall has not been determined, but there are no obvious signs of foul play, interim Spokane Police Chief Rick Dobrow said.

Still, police are investigating his death as suspicious, KREM reported.

Marshall, who was the Acting Chief of Surgery at Spokane VA Medical Center, was found dead in the waters of the Spokane River Tuesday morning.

While the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office still needs to officially identify the body, the man's clothing matched what Marshall was wearing when he went missing Monday, Dobrow said.

The married dad of two began working at Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center five years ago, center spokesman Bret Bowers said.

A fourth-generation Marine, the 49-year-old served in Afghanistan and worked as an Army doctor before being appointed the center’s Acting Chief of Surgery.

“Patients and staff alike talked regularly about his conscientious, empathetic and respectful nature,” Bowers said in a statement. “Dr. Marshall was an outstanding surgeon and consummate professional who cared about his patients and dedicated team of VA coworkers.”

Marshall was last seen leaving the YMCA early Monday morning to go for his daily jog close to the river. Surveillance footage showed him leaving the complex around 5 a.m.

His colleagues reported him missing when he failed to show up to work, his wife, Suzan, said. He was scheduled to perform several surgeries that day.

"He had a lot of patients to see, and wasn't there," she said.

With News Wire Services
From KREM 2 News krem.com 01/26/16:

Spokane VA surgeon vanishes during morning run
Ryan Simms, KREM.com 5:27 a.m. PST January 26, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane Police said a surgeon at the Spokane Veteran's Affairs Hospital left the YMCA Monday morning after a run and has not been seen since.

Police said they began searching for Dr. John Marshall, 49, after he was reported missing on Monday. Staff at the VA hospital notified Marshall's family when he did not report for work. Marshall's wife, Suzan, said he has been the chief surgeon at the VA for the last six years.

Suzan said she spent all of Monday in shock. Images from a surveillance camera at the YMCA near North Monroe show that Marshall left around 5:00 a.m. to go for a jog.

"This is his routine to go running at 5:30 in the morning," Suzan Marshall said.

Suzan said her husband would usually be gone for only 30 minutes. That was not the case on Monday.

"His car is here, his phone, his keys, his wallet," she said.

As Chief of Surgery at Spokane's VA Hospital, Dr. Marshall had a full plate Monday -- including several surgeries.

Monday morning though, he never made it back from his run and never went to work.

"He had a lot of patients to see, and wasn't there," Suzan said.

Dr. Marshall is believed to have jogged south of Monroe Street towards the Spokane River. Search crews combed through areas of the river on Monday night but did not find anything, officials said.

Suzan has also called all of Spokane's hospitals to no avail. As Monday drew to a close, Suzan said she is taking comfort in her husband's background.

A 4th-generations Marine, Dr. Marshall served in Afghanistan. Dr. Marshall also reportedly received survival training, which included how to spend time in freezing weather.

"I'm optimistic that we'll find him and we haven't found anything bad," Suzan said, "so there's hope that there's something good."

Dr. Marshall has two young children. Suzan said all of this is happening just a few weeks before his 50th birthday.

Officials said search efforts continued Monday night. Authorities said helicopter crews from Fairchild Air Force Base are using both thermal imagining cameras, and night scanners with the hope of finding Dr. Marshall.

Investigators said Marshall left the YMCA near N. Monroe around 5:00 a.m. for a jog. Security cameras showed Marshall leaving the gym. The Spokane Police Department said they will go through all of his jogging routes.

Marshall is described as a white male, about 5'6" and 150lbs. Marshall has blue eyes, brown hair and was last seen wearing a brown coat and a green shirt reading "We Are Marshall" along with navy blue Spokane Shadow soccer shorts.

Anyone who has seen Marshall or knows anything about his disappearance is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

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