Remembering Durwood Marshall, Silverthorne man who passed away following cardiac event at Keystone Resort
January 3, 2019
For Durwood Marshall, the mountains were always calling.
From his early days on the East Coast, to his retirement years in Silverthorne, his love for skiing was a constant in a life characterized by exploration and academia. It was on the mountain where Marshall spent his final moments, passing away following a cardiac event at Keystone Resort on Christmas Day.
Marshall, 66, grew up in Westchester County in New York with his parents, Irvin and Helene, and his siblings, Jeff and Suzanne. His father was an executive with Kmart, and as the company expanded the family often moved around to different areas in the Northeast.
He moved to Oklahoma for school, where he briefly studied architecture before dropping out and moving to Colorado. In the '70s, living in Breckenridge and Silverthorne, he enjoyed the skiing lifestyle, working and playing at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. During his time in Summit he also worked construction jobs, most notably on the Johnson Memorial Tunnel along Interstate 70.
"He did the ski bum thing here in the early '70s," said Gerry Mullaney, Marshall's brother-in-law. "He just enjoyed getting out on the mountain, cutting turns and hanging out. He skied all the time."
In the mid-'70s he moved back to upstate New York where he took on work at The Ski Market, and began school at Hudson Valley Community College. It was there, in the school's student union, that he met his wife, Carol Ann Marshall.
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He later attended the University at Albany, SUNY, where he earned a master's degree and enrolled in a Ph.D. program studying statistics. After finishing school, he and Carol got married and moved to Derry, New Hampshire, where they had their daughter, Afton.
Marshall put his expertise in mathematics to work. He started working as a statistician for Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, where he spent more than 25 years assisting researchers in a number of fields.
"He was super technically oriented, and his work in statistics applied broadly and took him to interesting projects," said Mullaney. "At Tufts he would work with the medical community with messy data, trying to figure out what was driving things. And then he'd be working with engineering groups on detail-oriented studies."
Throughout his time in the Northeast his passion for skiing stayed with him. Mullaney said that he spent countless hours on the slopes of Cannon Mountain, taking on the unofficial title of the "Mayor of Cannon" to some of those who knew him at the resort.
When it came time to retire, Marshall and his wife moved to Silverthorne to be closer to Afton, who was living in Boulder, and to return to his favorite mountain, Arapahoe Basin. Despite only living there for a few years, he made an impact on those around him.
"Speaking to anyone who knows him like his neighbors around here, he was just the nicest and most generous guy," said Mullaney. "He's made some good friends here quickly in the neighborhood. They all appreciated his conversation, warmth and generosity."
When he wasn't skiing, Marshall enjoyed tinkering. Mullaney said that he was an extreme techie, building high-end stereo systems and state-of-the-art turntables in his free time. He and his wife enjoyed hiking and taking road trips around the state to explore as much of Colorado as they could. And he loved to take his dog, Duff, on walks.
Marshall was described as funny and intelligent with the ability to make fast friends even without an overly outgoing personality.
"He had a kooky humor, and he was a fun guy," said Mullaney. "He was very talkative and professorial at times if there was a topic he was interested in. He was also a lively debater and was well read across a broad spectrum. … He always maintained that he liked to stay in the background, but somehow he always ended up knowing everybody anyway."
Marshall will be remembered warmly by those who survive him: his wife, Carol; his siblings, Suzanne and Jeff; his daughter, Afton, and his friends and extended family.
Marshall's family will hold a Celebration of Life ceremony at the Angler Mountain Ranch Yacht Club at 367 Fly Line Drive in Silverthorne on Saturday at 2 p.m.