Donald Kirk Marchand Jr.
April 7th 1926 to January 27th, 2005
(Please check back, pictures
will be added over the next few months. If you HAVE pictures, please
send them to this e-mail address)
Marchand was many things to an amazing number of people. The me he was
my father. He was a mentor, maybe even another father to hundreds,
maybe thousands of men who were Sigma Nu fraternity brothers. He was a
teacher, perhaps to a hundred thousand people. His happiness, his joy
of life, his enjoyment of people brought good feelings and brightened
the day for everyone he knew. He died, perhaps too soon, definitely
tragically, and definitely in the hearts of everyone who knew him.
Parents and Family
Marchand was born in Morgantown West Va., to Mr. Donald K. Marchand Sr.
and Mary "Ollie" Thomas Marchand. Mr. Marchand was a partner in an
insurance company. He was a committed Republican businessman, who was a
prominent member of the community. He had two daughters from a previous
marriage, and lived in a modest house in the northern part of
His luck changed in 1929 when the
Great Depression hit Morgantown. The company went out of business and
the Marchand went to Baltimore for a time. When they returned to
Morgantown, Don Marchand switched political parties because he believed
the Republican Party had "lost touch with people". He was appointed an
administrator of the WPA and the West Virginia Highway Department,
before going back into business in the late 1930's.
Don Marchand Sr. became a major figure
in the Democratic Party in West Virginia, and helped such famous
politicians as Senator Robert Byrd begin their careers. He was
a presidential Elector in the election of 1952, and was elected to the
State Senate in 1952. He was a major
figure in an unsuccessful attempt to get Senator John F. Kennedy on the
ticket with Adlai Stevenson for the 1956 election.
He died in 1958 of lung cancer.
Mary O. Marchand was appointed to fill
out her husband's term in the State Senate, and became the first
woman to ever cast a vote in the West Virginia Senate. She did not run
for election in 1960, and worked as an administrator at the Morgantown
Loyal Order Of Moose until her retirement in 1971. She lived for a
with D.K. Jr. in Norfolk and with her sister, Bess McCaskey in
Huntington W. Va. In 1973 she moved back to Norfolk and lived in an
apartment in the Ward's Corner area until she passed away in October of
D. K. Marchand Jr.'s sisters are
still living. Rosalee "Jimmy" Sobek lives with her son near Pittsburgh
Dorothy Wahl lives in Santa Cruz California. She was widowed in
He was very close to his cousin, Nan Yarborough, who was born in
Morgantown four weeks after he was. She worked as a nurse in Morgantown
and in Baltimore, and worked for a tour company in the eastern
Atlantic/ Mediterranean area. Nan died in 2003, and her two daughters,
Carol and Betsy, both have families and careers in Baltimore and
Virginia Beach, respectively.
His son, Donald Kirk Marchand III, lives in College Park Md. and
teaches at a a
local high school. Other close relatives live in Florida, California,
Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
K. Marchand taught at many schools during the 1950's. He taught at the
Norfolk Division of the College Of William And Mary and at V.M.I.
before he was married in 1955. He was teaching at Bethany State in
Bethany West Virginia when he was married, but accepted a position at
Central Missouri State soon afterward.
He taught Chemistry at Central
Missouri until 1961, when he accepted a position in the chemistry
department at Norfolk William And Mary. He taught many subjects, and
was the chairman of the department of chemistry when the Norfolk
Division became Old Dominion College in 1965. He worked with the
student affairs department from 1965 through 1968 to bring national
fraternities and sororities to Old Dominion, including his own Sigma Nu
fraternity. He also served as the chair of the Science Department of
Old Dominion College until 1969.
His work with the student affairs
department garnered his appointment as the dean of men beginning in the
1969-70 school year. During this time, he dealt with the normal
activities and services provided for college students, as well as
protests against the Vietnam War. Considering the proximity of Old
Dominion to the Norfolk Naval Base, the Naval Air Station, and the
Oceana Naval Air Station, he was successful in preventing protest
activity from escalating during the early 1970's. He also oversaw
changes in the athletic department following the renaming of the school
to Old Dominion University.
In 1975 he went back to teaching full
time, in the geophysical sciences department. He taught many courses,
including lab courses for non-science majors, and a "science fiction/
science fact" course with the english department. He taught until his
retirement in 1991. At that time he was appointed "associate professor
emeritus" by the university.
His Life And Retirement
K. Marchand grew up in Morgantown, except for the short stay in
Baltimore with his family during the Depression. He went to grade
school, high school and college in Morgantown. While he was at West
Virginia University, he joined Sigma Nu fraternity, an association he
kept until the day he died. He also met Ruth Hearn, who was dating his
roommate at the time. After he graduated, he went to the University of
Virginia and back to WVU for his graduate work.
He married Ruth Hearn over 10 years
after he met her, and after Ruth had moved to Sarasota Florida for
awhile. They met again after she returned to West Virginia, and were
married after he had been appointed as an assistant professor at
Bethany State. A year later, in 1956, their son and only child, Donald
Kirk Marchand III was born.
The Marchand family moved to
Warrensburg Missouri, and D. K. began teaching at Central Missouri
State. In the late 1950's, however, it was difficult to travel to West
Virginia, especially when both D.K.'s father and Ruth's brother died,
as well as when Ruth's father had a serious heart attack. In 1962, D.K.
accepted the position at the Norfolk Division, and he found a house on
50th Street for the family to move into. The family lived there from
November 1962 to September 1964, when they moved into a red brick Cape
Cod further down the street.
Donald III, known as "Kirk" grew up
and went to Blessed Sacrament school and Norfolk Catholic High School,
and went to college at West Virginia and at Old Dominion. He graduated
from ODU in 1980, and experimented with a number of career options
until he became a teacher in 1985. He is still teaching, today at the
Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington Maryland.
In the meantime D. K.
continued his career at Old Dominion, and took care of his mother until
her death in 1981. He also helped Ruth take care of her mother until
she died in 1986.
After he retired in 1991, he became
more active as an adviser to Sigma Nu fraternity, as well as taking
care of his house. However, in 1996, Ruth developed emphysema, and was
house ridden until her death in June of 1998. He didn't want to send
her to a nursing home, so he spent most of his time taking care of her.
He did continue to attend Old Dominion basketball games with his next
door neighbor, Bo Bradshaw.
When Ruth died in 1998, D. K. went
back into working with the Sigma Nu chapter at Old Dominion, rebuilding
it to one of the best fraternities at Old Dominion. He continued
academic activity, as a reviewer for university science texts, and as
an adviser to the student affairs department at Old Dominion. His real
priority was the Sigma Nu chapter, and many of the current members and
alumni told the news media about his involvement after his death. He
also traveled, visiting his sisters and returning to Morgantown many
times. He also visited his son and other relatives frequently.
At the time of his death, he was still
very active, and the large number of people who came to his wake and
funeral testify to his involvement. He will surely be missed by a very
large number of people, and that is probably the best testimonial to is
Coverage Of His Death
His Obituary, The Virginian Pilot on
Saturday, January 29th, 2005
Donald K. Marchand Jr. , Norfolk
Donald Kirk Marchand Jr. Ph.D., 78,
of the 1600 block of Melrose Parkway, died Jan. 27, 2005, in a local
hospital. Mr. Marchand was born and raised in Morgantown, W.Va., and
attended college at West Virginia University. He went to graduate
school at the Norfolk Division of the College Of William and Mary (now
ODU) and at the University of Virginia.
He taught at the Norfolk Division
of the College of William and Mary, V.M.I., Randolph Macon, Bethany
College and Central Missouri State, before coming back to teach the
remainder of his career at the Norfolk Division of William and Mary in
1962. He taught chemistry, and in 1968, was appointed dean of men at
the school, which at that point had been renamed Old Dominion College.
He served as dean of men and associate dean of student affairs until
1975, when he returned to teaching in the geophysical sciences
department at ODU. He remained in that department as an associate
professor until his retirement in 1991.
He joined Sigma Nu fraternity while
an undergraduate at WVU and maintained a strong lifetime commitment to
the fraternity. He was instrumental in bringing Sigma Nu, as well as
other national fraternities and sororities, to ODU. He served for a
time as division commander for the fraternity and was an adviser to
ODU's chapter through the time of his death. He had also recently been
designated as an "honorary graduate" of ODU due to his lifetime of
He was married on August 13th, 1955
to Ruth Ellen Hearn of Bridgeport W. Va., who was herself an educator.
She was a reading specialist with the Norfolk Public Schools from 1964
until her retirement in 1987. She died in June of 1998 after a long
bout with emphysema. Dr. Marchand took care of her at home for the
duration of her illness. Since her death he had devoted most of his
time to the Sigma Nu fraternity chapter at Old Dominion, and to
He is survived by his son, D. Kirk Marchand of College Park, Md.; two
sisters, Dorothy Wahl of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Rosalee "Jimmy" Sobek
Pittsburgh, Pa.; and a number of nephews, nieces and cousins. He is
also survived by several hundred brothers in Sigma Nu fraternity. A
funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Episcopal Church of the
Good Shepherd. The Rev. Robert Davenport will officiate. The family
will receive friends at the funeral home Monday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Memorial donations may take the form of contributions to the charity of
the donor's choice. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk chapel, is
Virginian Pilot Report Of His Death
By IBRAM ROGERS, The Virginian-Pilot
28, 2005 | Last updated 9:21 PM Jan. 27
NORFOLK — Careless
smoking caused a structural fire that claimed the life of a retired Old
Dominion University science professor Thursday afternoon, fire
The man – identified
by a neighbor as Donald K. Marchand, Jr. – accidentally set fire to the
living area of the first floor of his Cape Cod-style house in the 1600
block of Melrose Parkway.
and, with the help of a neighbor, a police officer pulled Marchand from
the burning house and began administering CPR in the front yard.
Norfolk Fire-Rescue arrived at 11:43 a.m., and within 25 minutes, fire
fighters had the blaze under control.
It was the second
fire on this block in less than a week.
“The flames were
three feet out of the side window,” said Denbeigh Marchant, an ODU
student who lives down the street.
Paramedics took Marchand to Sentara
Norfolk General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Fire
officials said his cause of death is still to be determined.
Marchand, who was in his 70s, had lived
alone since his wife passed away several years ago, a neighbor said.
Marchand began teaching chemistry at ODU
in 1954 as an assistant professor when the school was the Norfolk
Division of The College of William and Mary, according to ODU’s Web
In 1955, he left and went on to teach at
Randolph-Macon College, Bethany College and Central Missouri State
College before returning to ODU in 1962.
“Donald Marchand has consistently
received high praise over the years from students as well as respect by
his colleagues for his contributions to his field, his unceasing
willingness to serve Old Dominion University, and as a versatile and
thorough teacher,” the Web site said.
Text Of The Story On News Channel 8
A retired Old Dominion University
professor, Dr. Donald K. Marchand, died in a Norfolk house fire
Thursday morning. Firefighters were called to the home in the 1600
block of Melrose Parkway around 11:40am, near the ODU campus. A
neighbor ran into the burning home and tried to carry Marchand. The
neighbor was assisted by an arriving police officer.
Both performed CPR on Marchand as they
awaited firefighters. Marchand was transported to the hospital where he
was later pronounced dead.
Marchand joined Old Dominion University
in 1962. In addition to teaching, during his tenure, he served as
Chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Physical Science and
Associate Dean of Student Affairs. He was named Associate Professor
Emeritus of Geological Sciences in 1991. Marchand's first association
with Old Dominion University was in 1954 when as an assistant
professor, he taught chemistry at the then Norfolk Division of the
College of William and Mary for one year.
Fire officials say the fire was
accidental in nature, caused by careless smoking.
Dominion University On Line Report
Donald K. Marchand Jr., associate professor emeritus of
geological sciences, died at a local hospital Jan. 27, 2005, following
a fire at his Larchmont home near the university. He was 78.
A native of Morgantown, W.Va., he received his
bachelor’s degree in chemistry from West Virginia University in 1947
and subsequently received a master’s from WVU in 1950. He attended
graduate school at Old Dominion and the University of Virginia.
Marchand joined Old Dominion, then known as the Norfolk
Division, in 1954 as an assistant professor of chemistry. He left in
1955 and taught at Randolph-Macon College, Bethany College and Central
Missouri State College, returning to Old Dominion College in 1962.
Marchand was promoted to the rank of associate professor
in the physics and geophysical sciences department in 1966. In 1969, he
accepted the position of dean of men and associate dean of student
affairs, serving in that capacity the next six years.
Returning to the classroom in 1975, Marchand took up the
challenge of teaching as well as developing two upper-level earth
science courses for non-science majors.
He was instrumental in bringing Sigma Nu fraternity, as
well as other national fraternities and sororities, to Old Dominion. He
was an adviser to ODU’s Eta Chi chapter of Sigma Nu through the time of
his death. On Jan. 22, the Alumni Association presented him with an
Honorary Alumnus certificate.
An ODU basketball fan, Marchand also played a role in
the development of the university mascot, Big Blue, in 1970.
Upon his retirement and designation as associate
professor emeritus in 1991, the university paid him the following
tribute: “Donald Marchand has consistently received high praise over
the years from students as well as respect by his colleagues for his
contributions to his field, his unceasing willingness to serve Old
Dominion Univer-sity, and as a versatile and thorough teacher.”
Survivors include his son, D. Kirk
Marchand, a 1980 ODU graduate, of College Park, Md.; and two sisters,
Dorothy Wahl of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Rosalee "Jimmy" Sobek of
- a dark day with black armbands
day...Donald K Marchand died.
I want to write more...but I can't.
It's not enough right now, but someday
it will be.
He was a great man, and I can't write
enough right now
It's hasn't even been a month, and
I've already faced a death in my family.
The night after it happened, a few
brothers went to his house that had been charred by fire to pay our
respects. I cried. The next day I cried even harder, explaining to my
The wake is tomorrow night, and the
funeral is on tuesday morning.
You're going to be missed D.K. I am a
better man for having known you, and the world is a dimmer place with
3/15/2005 - I came to know Don
Marchand four years ago when he hired my
company to handle his Landscaping and Lawn Care needs at 1600 Melrose
Parkway. The first time I met him we instantly became friends. I would
see Mr. Marchand one-two times a week in the spring summer and fall.
Not a one visit in four years did I ever miss sitting down with my
friend talking about life and how he was doing. Mr. Marchand was the
type of man to motivate you on a bad day and was concerned about my
life. I cherish the memories and all the great conversations we had. My
brother lost both his legs in a car accident in 2003 and Mr. Marchand
knew of this and would offer support and kind words and concern for my
family in these tough times. He would always ask how my family was
doing with the deepest concern. " I will miss my friend this spring
summer and fall god didn't make them any better than Mr. Marchand i
the deepest respect for him he will be missed by many".
Posted at 01:28 am
Bennie Goddard Jr.
Chesapeake, Virginia - Thursday, March 17, 2005 at 13:12:54 (PST)
I LOVED YOUR DAD,
HE IS A PART OF ME BEING WHO I AM TODAY. HE WAS
A STEADY ROLE MODEL AND I DEPENDED UPON HIM FOR GUIDANCE IN MY ROLE AS
IFC PRESIDENT THROUGH THOSE TWO FORMATIVE YEARS OF MY LIFE'S EXPERIENCE
IN COLLEGE. HE WAS THERE WHEN NEEDED AND NEVER INTERFERING. THAT IS NOT
EASY TO DO WHEN YOU ARE DEALING WITH HUNDREDS OF COLLEGE FRATERS. HE
DEMANDED VERY LITTLE AND COMMANDED THE UTMOST OF RESPECT FROM EVERYONE
OF HIS STUDENTS AND FACULTY COLLEAGUES. DK WAS THE PARAGON OF HUMILITY,
DIGNITY, INTELLIGENCE AND RESPECT. HE MADE THE WORLD OF THOSE WHO KNEW
HIM A BETTER PLACE.
Sunday, October 16th, 2005 at 10:01 a.m.
check back, pictures and more testimonials will be
added over the next few months. If you HAVE pictures, please send them