Manfred Marschewski, who served as a Durham Township supervisor for decades, died Jan. 3 at his home in Durham. He was 85.
Marschewski had stepped down from his seat on the Durham board when he was 81, leaving behind a remarkable legacy of public service stretching from 1982 to 2015. He was the husband of Elfriede Jacobson Marschewski, who survives him.
Durham Supervisor Bartley E. Millett, who shared many of those years of service with Marschewski, said, “Manfred was a gentleman who unquestionably cared deeply about the community and the world he lived in.”
In addition to their supervisory roles, the two served on the Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board. Marschewski had been a member since 1990.
Millett said, as was his usual practice, he had driven the two to a meeting of the agricultural preservation board in Doylestown and after the meeting dropped Marschewski off at his home the night before he died. “We talked all the way home. He had a cold and he wasn’t feeling too well but I never thought I wouldn’t see him again,” Millett said.
When Marschewski left the Durham Board of Supervisors in 2015, he and Elfrieda were named Durham Citizens of the Year. Honors also poured in from the county and the state. At the time, his fellow Supervisor Richard Johnson, who sometimes was at odds with him, paid him this tribute: “You do the right thing when nobody’s watching.”
The silver-haired Marschewski was a staunch Republican, a party loyalist, but he worked well with Democrats and, an immigrant, was outspoken in his love for this country. “I’m a lifetime farmer,” he once said. “I’m so fortunate to have land like this. We never could have had this in Germany.”
He was greatly loved in the township but was also a controversial figure and never slow to deliver his opinions in a resounding voice.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, on Aug, 4, 1934, to the late Emil and Helene Schubert Marschewski, he immigrated to the United States in 1955 and went back a year later to marry Elfriede and bring her to this country, where they settled on Staten Island, N.Y. He worked as a machinist for 35 years at Anheuser Busch in Newark until his retirement.
A partner of Double M Farms, Durham Township, since 1969, he and his wife lived since 1969 in an 1829 fieldstone house on the 102-acre farm where they produced beef and pork and grew their own feed. He always considered himself “a good steward of the land.” He was a member of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Durham; a lifetime member and past vice president/director of Durham Historical Society, a member of the Durham Township Planning Commission, F & AM Lodge in Doylestown and Rajah Temple in Livingston, N.J.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Manfred W. and his wife, Lisa C. , of Riegelsville, and daughters Helena F., wife of Richard C. Wolfe of Northampton, and Mary E., wife of Donald R. Crouse of Riegelsville; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by a brother, Uwe Marschewski.
A viewing was held Wednesday night at Heintzelman Funeral Home Inc. in Hellertown. A funeral service took place at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Durham Thursday morning followed by interment at Durham Cemetery.
Memorials may be sent to Evangelical Lutheran Church of Durham, 821 Durham Road, Durham PA 18039, or Shriner’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 3551 N. Broad St., Philadelphia PA 19140.
Online expressions of sympathy may be recorded at www.heintzelmancares.com.