Cover photo for William Obituary Jr.'s Obituary
William Obituary Jr. Profile Photo
1925 William 2013

William Obituary Jr.

December 3, 1925 — August 25, 2013


Chemical Scientist and Longtime Resident of Oak Ridge

William Leitch Marshall, Jr., a resident of Oak Ridge since 1949, passed away quietly in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday, August, 25th, 2013.

William Leitch Marshall, Jr., was born December 3, 1925 in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of William L., Sr., and Georgia Kittrell Marshall, with the name Leitch from his great grandfather, the first surveyor of the Port of Charleston, S.C. in 1851.

He grew up in Columbia, living one year in Aiken, S.C., and as a teen-ager strongly involved himself in photography, even working for a photo company, and also delivering the daily newspaper. Bill was a member of DeMolay and the Boy Scouts, and graduated from Dreher High School with top grades. From his parents he learned "to treat everyone fairly according to the Golden Rule."

Bill received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Clemson University in 2 1/4th years at age 19. At Clemson he taught in the chemistry laboratories, was a full-time waiter at the Clemson boarding house, and a first lieutenant in the ROTC. He greatly enjoyed both the academic and social life of the university.

Dr. Marshall received his Ph.D. degree in 1949 under Prof. A. B. Garrett in physical-organic chemistry in 3 1/2 years from Ohio State University, where he met his future wife, Joanne Fox, majoring in accounting.

Bill and Joanne were married in Coshocton, Ohio, April 16, 1949, and on their honeymoon trip they stopped in Oak Ridge unannounced for Bill to inquire about a research possibility that resulted in his life-time scientific career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a positive decision continually praised by both.

Bill started his research in 1949 with Dr. C. H. Secoy at Oak Ridge where they pioneered in exploring the behavior of uranium salts in high-temperature-water solutions as a fuel for the first pilot operating nuclear power-plant.

In 1956-57, Bill, accompanied by his wife, their two children and his mother, did research in Amsterdam at the van der Waals Laboratory as a prestigious Guggenheim Fellow. The family also traveled widely by car throughout western Europe and England. This scientific year was invaluable in advancing research on water and solutions to very high temperatures and pressures by Bill and his colleagues in Oak Ridge. It resulted in life-time collaborations with noted scientists, Prof. E. U. Franck (University of Karlsruhe, Germany), Drs. Anneke Levelt and Jan Sengers (van der Waals Laboratory and later, USA), and many other scientists worldwide studying high temperature water and solutions for power plants, geothermal energy, geochemistry, geology, oceanography, and origins of life.

Bill was a long-time active member of the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam in participating throughout the world where he contributed such international standards as the ionization and electrical conductance of pure water to high temperatures and pressures. Dr. Marshall published over 125 widely cited basic scientific papers in the above fields and presented many invited plenary lectures both internationally and in the USA.

In 1977 Dr. Marshall received the Herty Gold Medal Award from the American Chemical Society, Georgia Section, for "Outstanding Contributions to Chemistry in the Southeastern United States," and in 1968 presented the invited "Pioneers in Chemistry" lecture at Wayne State University.

Bill was preceded in death by his most-loving, supportive wife of 56 years, Joanne Fox Marshall, his parents, William L. Marshall, Sr., and Georgia Kitttrell Marshall, his mother-in-law, Mary Kimberley Fox, and father-in-law, William Benjamin Fox, and his step-mother-in-law, Marie Harbit Fox; by his sister-in-law, Marylou Gyourko Fox, sister-in-law, Brittainy Profitt Fox; and by his aunts and uncles.

Bill is survived by his daughter, Nancy M. Potter, and son-in-law, Dr. Walter D. Potter; by his son, William F. Marshall, and daughter-in-law, Sharon L. Marshall; and by granddaughters, Kimberley D. Potter and Caroline G. Marshall; and by grandsons, Dr. William M. Potter and Peter W. Marshall. Additional survivors are his brother-in law, William B. Fox, Jr.; and his niece, Katherine F. Tisdale and family, and his nephew, Daniel E. Fox and family.

Bill is best remembered as a dedicated researcher investigating the fundamental principles of nature; a loving husband, father, and grandfather; an avid hiker and swimmer; and a staunch advocate for the Oak Ridge "Super-pool".

He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, August 29th, 2013 at Martin Funeral Home from 11:00am to 1:00pm. A grave side service will follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Obituary Jr., please visit our flower store.


Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree