Marshall T. Windham, 96, of Columbus, Texas passed away on August 24, 2019 in Columbus. He was born on June 23, 1923 in Shelby County Texas to Vester and Lue Windham and grew up in Center, Texas. He was the fourth of five brothers.
Marshall was proud of his service to our country during World War II. In 1943 he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp at the age of 19. As a member of the 8th Air Force, 457th Bomb Group, he flew 16 successful missions in a B-17 named the “Big Time Operator” with a crew of 9 close comrades. Together they flew over Germany, on various bombing missions. On the 17th mission the flying fortress was shot down and Marshall along with his crew was captured by German soldiers and held in German Prison Camps as a Prisoner of War. Enduring seven months of near starvation and torturous conditions he was liberated on May 2, 1945. This experience would forever shape the man he was.
Happy to be returning home from the war in time for his birthday he sat next to a beautiful young woman on the bus ride to San Antonio named Mary Rosalie Zavesky. They married on November 4, 1946 in Hallettsville, Texas and spent 69 years building a happy life together. He often said that “Mary Zavesky was the best birthday present he’d ever received!”
Marshall became a jeweler and watch repairman after attending school in Houston. He opened his own jewelry store in Weimar, Tx along with his wife, Mary. They later moved to Columbus, Tx and together ran Windham Jewelry for 44 years.
He lived in Columbus for 57 years and was a member of the Lions Club, Saint Anthony Catholic Church and the Columbus Volunteer Fire Department. He enjoyed hunting, riding four wheelers, gardening, playing cards and dominos with friends, but his favorite activity was playing golf. He played until he was 95 years old, achieving 3 hole in ones in his lifetime.
He was the proud father of 5 children. Marshall was a man of high standards and great determination. He strove to do every task in life both large and small to the best of his abilities and instilled that mindset in his family.
Marshall is survived by his daughters Donna Solansky and husband Larry of Columbus, Tx, Rhonda Schneider of Columbus, Tx, Polly Barten and husband Mark of Columbus, Tx, Amy Windham-Hartigan of Columbus, Tx; son, Marshall Terrell Windham Jr. and wife Carolyn of Austin, Tx.
14 grandchildren; Albert Solansky and wife Kristy, Audrey Solansky Dyer and husband Kevin, Taryn Windham Mulcahey and husband Matthew, Matthew Windham, Emily Schneider Skokna and husband Scott, Will Schneider V and wife Racheal, Charles “Chip” Schneider, Luke Schneider and wife Katherine, Jacob Barten and wife Janel, Jordan Barten and wife Natalie, Joseph Barten and wife Kristy, Harley Hartigan and wife Susana, Hannah Hartigan and fiancé Billy Belmonte and Hedy Hartigan.
25 great grandchildren; Maxwell and Claire Solansky; Avey, Cullen and Weston Dyer; Marshall, Merrick and Macallan Mulcahey; Ella and William Schneider; Edison, Elliot and Iris Skokna; Cambry, Cam-din, Callen and Cort Barten; Deacon, Cormac and Carys Barten; Danica and Bellamy Barten; Leonardo Harris, Lucia and Lennon Hartigan.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Vester and Lue Windham; wife Mary Zavesky Windham; son in law William Henry Schneider and brothers Clyde, Clayton, Howard and Lamar Windham and their wives.
Funeral services will be held at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Columbus, Tx on Saturday August 31th at 10:00 am. A Prayer Service and Rosary will be held at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus, Tx on Friday August 30th at 7:00 pm.
Visitation at Henneke Funeral Home, Friday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and at St. Anthony Church on Saturday, 9:00 am to 10:00 am. Burial at St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery with military honors. Pallbearers will be his grandchildren and Columbus VFD. A reception will follow at the KC Hall in Columbus, Tx with refreshments.
Memorials may be given to Columbus Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 125 Columbus, Tx 78934; St Anthony Catholic School, 635 Bonham St Columbus, Tx 78934 or the 457th Bomb Group Association, www.457thbombgroup.org
Online condolences may be given to the family at www.hennekefuneralhome.com.