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Jean Marshall, social work pioneer and wife of former chief minister David Marshall, dies aged 94

Jean Marshall, social work pioneer and wife of former chief minister David Marshall, dies aged 94

Mrs Jean Marshall, wife of David Marshall, during her tour of the Police Secret Bunker at Pearl's Hill Terrace on Jan 5, 2016. (Photo: TODAY/Don Wong)

SINGAPORE: Mrs Jean Marshall, a social work pioneer and wife of the late former chief minister David Marshall, died on Monday (Mar 29).

She was 94.

In a letter to her four children - Ruth, Sarah, Joanna and Jonathan - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his condolences, noting Mrs Marshall's contributions to Singapore.

She made "important contributions" to medical social work, including to the Red Cross in Malaya, said Mr Lee. 

She was also a volunteer for the Singapore Children's Society's convalescent home for almost 20 years.

"Born British, Jean made Singapore her home and contributed much to our society," wrote Mr Lee.

He added that Mrs Marshall was a "devoted companion" to Mr Marshall, whom she married in 1961.

"She was by Mr Marshall's side when he served as Singapore's Ambassador to France, offering warm hospitality to foreigners to introduce them to Singapore, and also to Singaporeans in France so that they would feel less homesick," wrote Mr Lee.

"When I visited Paris in 1990, she also took good care of me. Despite the difference in our ages, we got on well together."

Mr Lee said he had written Mrs Marshall a get well note when she was hospitalised a few weeks ago and was "very happy" that she was well enough to send him a reply.

"But now she has left us, and we mourn the loss of one of our pioneer Singapore women," he said.

The Workers' Party also expressed its condolences to Mrs Marshall's family in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

"While we in The Workers' Party mourn Mrs Marshall's passing, we are reminded of the contributions of her generation and particularly those of the women, who are often forgotten. What we have today would not have been possible without their sacrifices," the post read.

"We hope Mrs Jean Marshall's example and that of her husband Mr David Marshall will inspire those working for the greater good of Singapore society today in both the civil society and political spheres."

Mr Marshall was the founding leader of The Workers' Party in 1957.

Source: CNA/ic(gs)


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