For those of you who do not know me personally. I am a Alumni of J.F.K. High School in upper Tumon. And so when I received word that my former Geometry teacher Mr. Gaynell Marsh had passed away recently. I knew that there would be an out pouring of condolences from past students, athletes and friends that he had touched during his time as a teacher, coach, runner and all around nice guy. And that he would be remembered for his rich hospitable spirit.
According to the Guam Running Club FB page. Marsh was a dedicated GRC board member and volunteer. And that he had a passion for running and officiating races that helped grow the running community on the Island.
But if I could point out one true gift that Mr. Marsh had. It was his gentle temperament. I’ll give you an example. When I attended JFK HS in the late 70’s. The word floating around was that “You just had to take Mr. Marsh’s math classes”. And so when I finally had the chance, I must say it was one of the best experiences in a math classroom that I ever had. Mr. Marsh just had a way of explaining things easily. He wasn’t pompous like a lot of teachers I experienced in a classroom. (Ex: Mr. Avery my English teacher). He just loved his students and his subject. I never once saw him lose his cool in or outside of the classroom.
The other part that I enjoyed as a student of his, was that he loved talking about basketball. At the time, Marsh was the basketball coach for the JFK Green Islanders. All you had to do was bring up the subject of basketball, local or national it didn’t matter. And the Pandora’s box would open up. Guam Men’s basketball was hot on the Island with great players like Joe Taitano, Pete Sanchez, Tony Susuico, Jerry Lee, and John Borden. I will never forget those conversations.
So when I recently ran into my JFK Alumni brother Joey Munoz at a JFK Football game. And he showed me a photo of Mr. Marsh back in 1978 at the Boys High School Far East Basketball tournament in Yokota Air Base in Japan. I knew then that I had to share it. So here it is. A tribute to one of my all time favorite teachers ever. May you RIP Mr. Marsh..You touched and influenced so may hearts. Including mine. Thank you!