WATERTOWN, NY — Leonard Roy Marsh passed away on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, at Carthage Area Hospital after a short illness.
He was born on May 21, 1928, in Watertown, NY, the son of Roy and Ruby Marsh.
Len was a lifelong resident of Watertown. After graduating in 1946 from Watertown High School, he and his closest friend, Marty Rubin, enlisted in the United States Air Force on the buddy system for a three year tour playing together in the Air Force Band.
A gifted pianist, Len played in various jazz and pop bands as early as his mid-teens and played with many of the best local musicians in the Northern NY area after leaving the service.
Len found the love of his life, Elsa Youngstrom, and, after they married in 1952, moved to an apartment in Buffalo where he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Buffalo. He then completed a law degree from Syracuse University in 1956, commuting daily from Watertown with his friend Don Palmer pre-Route 81, no mean feat in those days.
Len practiced law for 60 years in the areas of criminal and family practice, including a stint as Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney. He was associated with the Conboy, McKay and Bachman Law Firm for years until collaboratively forming the firm of Giles, Maloney, Marsh, and Goodwin.
A strong proponent of education and community service, he was a law lecturer for police agency training schools and the Jefferson County Magistrates Association as well as an instructor with the State University of New York for Home Study.
Civic participation included directorships of the March of Dimes, United Fund and Family Counseling Service, among numerous others.
Len loved children and acted as court-appointed legal guardian for many children over the years who needed advocacy.
He was a member of the Life Church of the Nazarene, Watertown, where he occasionally played the piano for several years at services.
In addition to his love of the piano, he was fascinated with airplanes and flying and was a pilot and flight instructor for many years.
Len is survived by Elsa, his loving wife of 69 years; a daughter, Melissa (Jerry) Pleskach; two sons, Peter (Denise) Marsh and Jeff (Claudia) Marsh; and cherished grandchildren, Briana Marsh, Alex and Jacob Pleskach, and Matthew and Hannah Marsh.
A sister, Joan (Marsh) Jones, predeceased him.
Len will be remembered by all who knew him as a kind and caring man, a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He ardently believed in fairness, honesty, and respect in both his personal and professional lives. “Lenny” was always ready for a laugh… and gave as good as he got!
Funeral arrangements are with Reed & Benoit in Watertown. At the request of the family, there will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Contributions in Len’s memory may be given to the Life Church of the Nazarene, Watertown or a charity of one’s choice.
Condolences may be made online at reedbenoit.com