Special Counsel William A. Marsh Jr.
Biography of Special Counsel William A. Marsh, Jr.
William A. Marsh, Jr. was a Durham attorney who used his legal skills to advance Durham’s movement for civil rights. Marsh was central to the school desegregation lawsuit proceedings when African-American families who had submitted 225 requests for reassignment to white schools and had only eight of these approved for the 1959-60 school year, turned to litigation.
Marsh was the first black chairman of the Durham County Board of Elections and North Carolina’s first black county elections chairman. He later served as the first black chairman of the state Board of Elections. His work for the defense of civil rights has been recognized by the North Carolina Bar Association, and in 1999 Marsh was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame, which “honors those lawyers who have been licensed to practice for 40 years or more and who have made significant contributions to the cause of justice.” Marsh served as the General Counsel for the African Methodist Episcopal Church for many years and was elected as well as President of the Judicial Council. At the time of his death, he was the denomination’s Special Counsel.
He is survived by his wife, Bernice S.Marsh, his son, William A.(Drew) Marsh III (Sonja), his daughter, Jewel M. Cummings, his grandchildren, William A.Marsh IV, Kylie Alexandra Marsh, Nicholas Emerson Marsh, and Jade Cummings.
Arrangements are incomplete but are to be handled by Scarborough & Hargett Funeral Home, Durham, North Carolina. Please reach out to the family:
c/o William A. Marsh III
616 Nantahala Drive
Durham, NC 27713