Bryan Bell Marsh, Jr. passed away on August 13, 2016, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the age of 83.
Bryan was a loving husband, father and grandfather as well as a successful engineer and custom home builder. He was born on June 4, 1933, in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was raised by his parents Bryan Bell "Fuzzy" Marsh and Marie Acker Marsh. He attended public schools in Montgomery with his younger brother Bill, and he graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 1951.
Bryan joined the Boy Scouts of America and became an Eagle Scout with his outstanding spirit, service and leadership. These traits formed the foundation of his life along with an optimistic attitude and strong sense of humor. He spent many memorable holidays and vacations at the old family homestead in Choctaw County, Alabama. It was there in the piney woods, along with his scouting adventures, where Bryan developed a deep love for nature and the outdoors.
Bryan went to his father's alma mater of Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where he earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree in 1955. He was a passionate Auburn Tiger football fan, and "War Eagle" was his battle cry. Bryan was a true southern gentleman, and it was fitting that he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order.
With the Korean War underway during his college years, Bryan joined the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps where he again demonstrated generous acts of community service and leadership as a member of the Arnold Air Society and the National Society of the Scabbard and Blade. He was an outstanding scholar and a member of Pi Tau Sigma, an honorary engineering fraternity. He completed his education at the Georgia Institute of Technology obtaining a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1956.
After graduating from Georgia Tech, Bryan fulfilled his commitment to his country by serving as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1956 to 1960. His primary duty was as a navigator aboard a KC-135 jet which refueled Strategic Air Command bombers during the Cold War. He was stationed at Goose Bay AFB in Canada and Lake Charles AFB in Louisiana. His call sign was "Squire" which befitted the charming, southern gentleman that he was.
Bryan's good-looks and sense of humor won the heart of a south Texas beauty queen while on an Air Force training mission. He married Patricia Yvonne Davis in Harlingen, Texas, in 1958. Their first son, Bryan III, was born on their first wedding anniversary.
The family moved to Richardson, TX, in 1960 where Bryan started work as an Engineer with Texas Instruments. The couple was blessed with daughter Betsy and youngest son Bob soon thereafter. Bryan worked at Texas Instruments for several years before being lured away by Varo, Inc. to become the company's Chief Engineer. His specialty was designing and manufacturing night vision equipment and searchlights for the military. He made frequent business trips overseas to demonstrate and help sell his company's products.
In the 1970's, Bryan's entrepreneurial spirit took over, and he decided to put his experience and talents to work as a custom home builder. He quickly gained a reputation as a quality builder in the North Dallas suburbs. He loved the real estate business and creating structures to last for generations.
As his success grew, he expanded his business by co-founding a residential real estate brokerage firm called Pitt-Marsh Realty which had about 30 agents. He was an avid golfer and member of Canyon Creek Country Club.
In 1981, Bryan married Carole Sue Dixon Cameron from Vernon, Texas, and welcomed another son, Kelly, to the family. Bryan and Carole moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1987, where together they continued building high-end, custom homes in the traditional pueblo style.
Marsh Homes was often featured in the annual Santa Fe Parade of Homes where the firm was recognized with several awards. He was a Master Builder for Santa Fe's finest and most exclusive luxury golf community known as Las Campanas, and he built extensively in Monte Sereno which is one of the city's most desirable neighborhoods located near the Santa Fe Opera.
Bryan is survived by his loving wife Carole and brother Bill Marsh. His children include Bryan Marsh III, Betsy Ybarra, Bob Marsh and Kelly Cameron. Affectionately known as "Big Daddy", his grandchildren are Will Marsh, Charlie Marsh, James Marsh, Davis Marsh, Brett Marsh, Amanda Ybarra, Sam Ybarra, Kelsie Cameron and Max Cameron. Big Daddy also loved his son and daughters' in-law including Manny Ybarra, Kala Marsh, Lila Marsh and Valerie Cameron.
A memorial service honoring him will be held on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, at 3:00 pm in the Cox Chapel at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. A reception will follow at the Sky Club at The Mayfair at Turtle Creek, 3401 Lee Parkway, Dallas, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to:
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Sept. 11, 2016