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  • Hundreds mourn Dave Marston

    Longtime Rogue Valley musician is remembered
  • Friends of Dave Marston gathered on Saturday to celebrate the life of the musician and peace activist.
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  • Friends of Dave Marston gathered on Saturday to celebrate the life of the musician and peace activist.
    Two hundred people met at the Bandshell in Lithia Park for a memorial service, filled with music, stories, laughter and tears. Marston died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease on June 22. He was 56.
    "Dave was an outspoken world citizen," said Rev. Brad Carrier. "His untimely death touches deep into us."
    Marston came to Ashland in 1975, performing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival before serving as director of OSF's Green Show. His talent extended to the guitar, banjo, piano, recorder and harmonica, not to mention vocals. Friends remembered him Saturday as a man who brightened the lives of others through his performances.
    "It was a joy watching him with people, especially young people, how he was able to stir their interest in music," said Mitzi Rabin, who described Marston as a social activist who cared deeply for people around the world.
    In 2006, Marston traveled to Hiroshima with the Rogue Valley Peace Choir to perform at a concert marking the 61st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb. He composed a musical message of apology — "From America to Hiroshima" — which is still sold at the Hiroshima museum in Japan.
    Those who knew Marston knew he held a passion for baseball that matched his love of music. Growing up in the Bay Area, Marston would occasionally pay the 65 cents to sit in the right field bleachers at Candlestick Park and watch his beloved San Francisco Giants. He carried his love of the game throughout life, and was equally skilled with a baseball bat as with a guitar. His older brother, Jim Marston, remembered how excited Dave was when he got the chance to join his love for music and baseball, singing the National Anthem at a Seattle Mariners baseball game.
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