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

PM Lee pays tribute to 'one of our pioneer Singapore women'

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Singapore — Mrs Jean Marshall, wife of ex-chief minister David Marshall, died in her home on Monday afternoon (Mar 29). She was 94.

She leaves behind four children — Ruth, Sarah, Joanna and Jonathan, aged 52 to 60 — and six grandchildren.

Her youngest son Jonathan told the Straits Times that Mrs Marshall had a fall last December and had been confined to bed in her Balmoral Road condominium since early February.

For the past six weeks, his mother had “experienced a lot of physical pain”, he said.

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“Mobility became an issue. She felt that the time had come… and that she had lived a good life, a long life. She asked me to be happy for her when she goes.”

It was a drastic change for Mrs Marshall, who used to swim at least 20 minutes every day before her fall, said Dr Marshall.

“It’s been emotionally very difficult to see my mother in pain. It’s a mixture of sadness and grief to see her go, but also peace knowing that she is no longer in pain.”

He remembers his mother as a warm, respectful and engaging person who had a lot of time for those she loved. Towards the end, friends would bring her groceries and spend time with her, he said. “To see them rally around her… was quite inspiring.”

Mrs Marshall, born on 13 April 1926, would have turned 95 in just a few weeks.

Tributes have been paid by various people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who offered his deepest condolences. The PM wrote that Mrs Marshall is “one of our pioneer Singapore women”, and that, despite being born British, she made Singapore home and contributed much to society.

In line with the tradition of her parents, Mrs Marshall requested a very simple funeral with no wake. She understood that due to current safe distancing restrictions, most people would not be able to pay their last respects in person. The funeral will be livestreamed on Saturday (Apr 3) at 3.15 pm.

The family suggests that those thinking of making a memorial gift should make a donation to their favourite charity in Mrs Marshall’s name or to one of her favourite charities, such as HCA Hospice Care, instead.

Denise Teh is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISGFollow us on Social Media

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