George Marshall was killed at his landscaping business'… (Baltimore Sun )
Friends recalled garden supply wholesaler and Catonsville resident George Marshall as a hard-working business owner who spent the last three decades selling his line of clay and glazed containers to Mid-Atlantic patio and landscaping businesses.
Marshall, 57, died Saturday afternoon at his Southwest Baltimore warehouse when he was hit by a truck that police said was driven by a man trying to steal goods from the landscaping business. Also injured in the incident was his brother, Jack Marshall, 59, who is expected to recover, city police spokesman Detective Jeremy Silbert said.
Ellerson Carter, 55, of the 2200 block of Annapolis Road has been arrested and charged with murder, assault and burglary. He is accused of trying to break into a box truck in the 2700 block of Hollins Ferry Road, where the wholesale business is located.
The two Marshall brothers owned and operated Patapsco Valley Sales and Supply, one of the area's oldest wholesalers of decorative gardening containers.
"George was the salesman. He did the shows and would call on the customers. His brother ran the warehouse," said Jan Hull, an employee who lives in Arlington, Va. "George would be in at 4 in the morning to make sure the trucks went out with the right orders. He was well liked and extremely accommodating to his customers."
Marshall was recalled as an adroit salesman who was at ease calling on roadside markets to sell his Halloween novelties, such as scarecrows, as well as on high-end restaurants and wedding planners to sell imported glazed jardinières.
"He had an incredible work ethic. He was also a wonderful man," said J. Carroll "Jake" Boone, a Bolton Hill-based party planner and florist. "There was nothing he wouldn't do to help you."
Family members said the two Marshall brothers started their business in 1977 in their parents' Beechfield garage on Cedargarden Road. They later moved to a Sharp Street warehouse in South Baltimore.
The brothers drove to Florida and brought back terra cotta and glazed ceramic pots that were becoming popular for container gardens on patios and apartment balconies. Over the years, they expanded their business and required larger warehouses to hold their inventory. They also issued annual catalogs of their wares, which also included wire trellises for vines.
"I see George's beautiful glazed pots on the edges of Little Italy," said floral designer Barbara Taylor of Cross Keys. "He was a man of infinite patience and nothing but hard work."
His wife, Gayle Elliott Marshall, said her husband was a graduate of Mount St. Joseph's High School, where he had been a wrestler. He earned a bachelor's degree at Loyola University of Maryland. They met 18 years ago while she was working at the Reston Farm Market in Reston, Va. That day, he brought in samples of pots he wanted to sell. They were married for the past six years.
"He was still dealing with the first customers he ever had," she said. "He kept his customers for years."
Friends recalled that the Marshall brothers understood the needs of the garden supply industry and keep a large inventory they could deliver on short notice.
"He was well known in the industry," said Jason Gugliette, general manager of River Hill Garden Center in Clarksville. "He was also hands on. … Their prices were always good and they were willing to do a small delivery when you needed it."
John Mianulli, a friend for 40 years who lives in Ellicott City, recalled Marshall as being "quiet, well liked and generous with his time and money. He was willing to help anyone who was having problems."
In addition to his wife, Marshall has a 14-year-old stepdaughter, Alden Maynor. His mother, Mary Louise Marshall, of Baltimore, also survives. Plans for a funeral service were incomplete Sunday.