Rayford Ray Marshall was born on December 16, 1951 in Tyler, Texas to Willus D. Marshall, Sr. and Bennie Louis (Smith) Marshall. The third of 10 children, he was a steadfast pillar within his family and community. Brought up in the faith of our Lord, he lived his life as a true testimony to the goodness of God.
Rayford attended Robert E. Lee High School of Tyler, TX where he was the first African American to be named “Mr. Robert E. Lee.” Voted as “Most likely to Succeed,” he graduated as a National Merit Semifinalist. He went on to attend Texas A&M University where he excelled. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a Fish Drill Team member, and a Ross Volunteer. In 1974, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Following his tenure at Texas A&M, he attended the University of Houston, where he would graduate with his Masters of Mechanical Engineering.
On July 6, 1973, Rayford was joined in holy matrimony to Burnice Johnson of Willis, TX. With a marriage ordained by God, together, they were blessed with six children. These vows would remain the pinnacle of their marriage until his passing.
In December 1974, Rayford was commissioned to the United States Airforce as a 2nd Lieutenant. During his time in the Airforce he served as a missile launch commander until he was honorably discharged. Upon exiting the USAF, he would work for Exxon Chemical Plant as a project engineer. In 1996, Rayford used his engineering expertise to open Marshall Engineering Corporation and for the next 21 years he would serve his community at home and abroad, using the work of his hands.
Rayford is survived by his wife, Burnice Marshall, his mother, Bennie Lois Marshall, six children, Carl Marshall Sr., Demarco Marshall, Amanda Marshall-Guillory, Ashley Marshall, Matthew Marshall, and Anna Marshall, 15 grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, six brothers, three sisters, and a multitude of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
His homegoing service was held on July 1, 2017 at Lake Houston Church of the Nazarene, 5616 FM 1960 E., Humble, TX 77346. Interment will be Monday, July 3,2017 at 11:30 A.M. At Houston National Cemetery.
Services fulfilled with love by Oscar Johnson Funeral Home, 415 Berry Rd, Houston, TX 77022; 713-695-3313. “Serving Every Family As Our Own”