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Detective Sergeant Marshall White’s legacy

Utah Caring Stories

Ronald W. White is the son of Marshall White. I asked Ronald who Marshall White was; “He was a black detective, Sargent Detective for Ogden City. He was Dad.”

In October of 1963, Ogden, Utah Police Detective Sergeant Marshall White was shot and killed while trying to talk a suspect into surrendering his weapon. He was shot by the suspect and died three days later. He was the first black officer killed in the line of duty in Utah. His son, Ronald, was 6-years-old.

Ronald lovingly showed me various pictures of his Dad and told me; “He was the president of the NAACP, Ogden City Detective, he was a Mason, he hung out at the local Golden Gloves boxing joint. He was a well respected member of the community.”

Detective Sergeant Marshall White looked out for people in the community. He also looked out for his family. Ronald said; “I’m sure he was that way to a lot of people in the neighborhood. He was there defender. He was a hero to me.”

The Marshall White Recreation Center, in Ogden, Utah was dedicated on the 5th anniversary of his death. Today, it’s a busy place with everyone from Head Ttart kids to Seniors enjoying the facility. 

I asked Ronald what he wants people to remember when they go by or use the Marshall White Recreation Center located in the same neighborhood his family lived in. “I guess, I want them to remember that it was a man that gave his all for his neighborhood. We all give some. But he gave his all.”

What does the Marshall White Recreation Center mean to the community? Edd Bridge, Recreation Manager for Ogden City replied “It’s truly been a melting pot and gathering place for the community to come.”

What would Ronald White’s Dad, Marshall, think of this place now? Ronald got emotion and said; “I think he would be proud that the young people have someplace to go. Something to do. I think that is what he always wanted. “

After watching a video Danielle Peterson took at the Marshall White Center where she observed and said; “This is what I like to see. Ogden Police playing basketball with the kids,” I have to agree with Ronald. 

Thank you, Detective Sergeant Marshall N. White, for your service to your family, your country and your community. End of Watch: Friday, October 18, 1963.

These stories deserve to be told. These are Utah Caring Stories. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News. 

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