Donald Marble, 72, of Chester, passed away in Tucson, Ariz., of pancreatic cancer on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010.
Donald Raymond Marble was born April 10, 1938, in Kalamazoo, Mich. He was the son of Jack and Mona Marble of Kalamazoo. Don graduated from Richland High School, Richland, Mich., in 1956. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1963 with a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.
During his university years, Don was a summer employee of the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho and Montana, primarily working as a smokejumper. After college, he was employed as an engineer for NASA in Mountain View, Calif., and worked on landing gear for the moon mission. Seeking a simpler, rural lifestyle, Don moved to Montana where he attended law school at the University of Montana School of Law, from which he graduated in 1967. While in Missoula, Don met Harriet Pirkle, whom he married in June 1965. Don’s legal career began in Havre, with the legal services program, through which he provided legal aide to people in Liberty, Blaine and Hill counties, including Rocky Boy's and Fort Belknap Indian reservations. In 1970, Don joined the law firm of Paul Bunn in Chester. He practiced law in Chester until 2002, when he closed his private practice after being elected to the Liberty County Commission, on which he served for six years.
Community involvement was important to Don, and he served the state and his profession through a variety of board positions including the Montana Committee for the Humanities, the Montana Commission on Practices and the Montana Board of Environmental Review. He was a long-time member of the Montana Wilderness Association, for which he served a term as vice president. He was also actively engaged with environmental groups including the Sweetgrass Hills Protective Association, Montana Environmental Information, Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, Montana Audubon and Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument.
Don is survived by his wife, Harriet; sons, Justin (Vanessa) of Gaithersburg, Md., and Jay (Myrla) of Tucson, Ariz..; granddaughters, Ivana and Alejandra; brothers, Charles, of Munising, Mich., and Phillip of Galesburg, Mich.; and sister, Judy George, of Sturgis, Mich. His parents preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., on Friday at the Chester United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Friends of the Missouri River Foundation, 224 W. Main St., Suite 202, Lewistown, MT 59457, or Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, PO Box 181, E. Glacier, MT 59434.