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Textile Veteran Leon A. Marsha Dies, 90

March 19, 2020


Textile Veteran Leon A. Marsha Dies, 90

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Leon Anthony Marsha Jr. died on March 13 after a brief illness.

In 1953, after returning from Korea, he joined the family textile business, L. A. Marsha Co. Inc. founded in 1929. The company was located in West Columbia and incorporated in South Carolina.

L. A. Marsha Co. Inc. was a specialist in woven upholstery fabrics but was closed in 2015.

L.A. formed a new company with Peter Barnes as a partner—Marsha Barnes, a broker-dealer textile business in Spartanburg, S.C. L.A. also formed Marsha Investments, Inc. in West Colombia, S.C. in retirement.

Leon was most active in the business in the 1960s and it grew into an international distributor of textile and furniture products from U.S. suppliers.  
L.A. was born in Greenwood, South Carolina on July 31, 1930 to Leon A. Marsha, Senior and Ruth Creech Marsha. At the age of two, his family moved to Columbia.  

After high school, L.A. attended The Citadel for two years before transferring to the University of Georgia where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Upon graduating in 1951, he received a commission through the United States Army ROTC and was called to active duty. Upon completion of basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia he married Natalie Louise Hull of Atlanta, Georgia. L.A., his wife of 68 years.

He was then stationed at Fort Jackson until his deployment to Korea as a member of the 17th Infantry Regiment (Heavy Mortar Company) 7th Infantry Division. In Korea, as a first lieutenant, he served his country with honor in combat, engaging in major battles, the last of which was Pork Chop Hill. He received the Purple Heart, Combat Infantrymen’s Award and other meritorious medals from the governments of the United States, Korea and the United Nations.

In 1957, a group of Lebanese American men was organized by Danny Thomas to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. This organization became known as American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC). As state director for ALSAC, L.A. headed up several teenage marches and a concert at the Carolina Coliseum to raise the funds to begin building the hospital and realizing Danny Thomas’s dream. As one of the original donors, L.A. Marsha’s name is on a donor wall at the hospital and the Marsha family continues to donate money to an endowment in the family name each year.

L.A. is survived by his wife of 68 years, Natalie Hull Marsha, their four children and spouses, Stephanie Marsha McCabe (Michael McCabe), Lee Marsha (Anne), Michael Marsha (Ginger), Cecelia Marsha Zimmerman (Steve Zimmerman); his ten grandchildren and their spouses, Allie Rosvold Carpenter (John), Katie Zimmerman Atkinson (Zack), Ainsley McCabe Hope (Chat), Natalie Zimmerman Salley (Tate), Sara Marsha Ellison (David), Julia Zimmerman Bowers (Claude), Taylor McCabe Allen (Josh), Daniel Lee Marsha, Mary Kathryn McWilliams (Robert), Stephanie Marsha Theodore (Nick) and his eighteen great-grandchildren.
In Lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to: St. Joseph Catholic Church Organ Fund – 3512 Devine St. Columbia, S.C. 29205 St. Jude Children’s Research – Marsha Family Endowment – 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105-9959.

Due to the current health pandemic, all services will be private or postponed out of concern for the health of loving friends who were planning to attend. There will be a Memorial Mass at a later date. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.


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