Springfield businessman, former lawmaker B.J. Marsh dies from COVID-19 complications

Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 6:12 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The family of former Springfield lawmaker B.J. Marsh says he has died of COVID-19 complications.

His family notified KY3 News of his death Thursday.

“My dad was a great man that loved people,” said Marty Marsh.

He says his father spent the last two weeks in the hospital fighting COVID-19.

“For the first couple of days he was doing well and we talked multiple times per day,” he said.

His family was able to say their goodbyes through video chat Wednesday night.

“What a tremendous moment it was even thought it was late and even though they were tired and they’re working very hard. The care that they provided to him was just outstanding. I cannot thank the people at Mercy enough,” said Marsh.

He says for as long as he can remember his dad was always involved with the community.

“He was a basketball official. He worked for the state department of inspections. Then he got into the travel business in 1972,” explained Marsh.

His father operated Marsh Travel for years.

Perhaps his biggest role was in Jefferson City as state representative for Springfield. He worked for nearly two decades to get Southwest Missouri State University’s name changed to Missouri State University.

“His time in the legislature was about serving people,” said Marty Marsh.

He says his father truly had a love for life.

“He would go over multiple times a week and dress up in the Mercy chicken suit and just go through the hospital, especially through the children’s ward. He would just get people to laugh and joke around with them,” he said.

He says his father’s legacy is sharing that love.

“While he was here on earth he touched people’s lives. He cared for people. He brought people joy. He lived a tremendous life. But he is also in a better place right now. We take great comfort in knowing that,” he said.

Marsh served 12 years in the Missouri House of Representatives from 1988-1992 then again from 2000-2008. He led the fight to change Southwest Missouri State University to Missouri State University. He also operated Marsh Travel out of Springfield. The business catered to bus tours across the country.

Many may also remember Marsh was a high school referee in the Ozarks.

B.J. Marsh was 80-years-old.

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