“Marshall Farris was a member when I joined in 1970. This man was dearly beloved by us all, and though he is listed as one of our "singles," he had a family (outside the church)! Edith Roller, who often got rides with Brother Farris, recounted a conversation in her May 1976 journal: "Marshall said his wife was not a member of the Temple. She was attached to her friends in the Baptist Church. His brother Edward and his wife had stopped coming to the Temple services very much... Marshall is a mechanic and works most of the time on Temple cars." Here is Marshall, again:
Another story in the same month's journal will be familiar to any reader who was ever a member: Returning from a weekend trip to Los Angeles, Edith writes, "At one point about 2:00am ...we saw a car [of one of our members] with the hood up and one of our buses stopped. Bob [Robert Christian] and Marshall found that bad points were the cause of the trouble...Marshall...said he could have enabled the car to go to San Francisco...but they had towed the car back to the [gas] station, which would require someone to come for it tomorrow. We lost about an hour. We got into San Francisco at dawn, took Marshall home first … and reached our homes about 5:00am" (Edith Roller's journals for May 1976
In Jonestown, Marshall's list of jobs is long: Manager, livestock; Odd jobs - construction; Team C counselor; Butcher (main kitchen); Public Utilities and Sidewalks. In March '78, he reported on the cows (Roller, March 1978
). In May '78, he put up a shoe rack on the porch of Edith's cottage. Later that month, she sat with him at dinner and he told her of his days in the Longshoremen's Union, where he knew Harry Bridges (Roller, May 1978
I could go on. But can you see why we loved him so much? Brother Farris, you aged more gracefully than I am, always patient, never irritable or selfish. You were the best we had, as good as gold to us all. You lived to serve, surely you are gloriously resting in peace and love. You are so missed, and always remembered.” - Kathryn (Tropp) Barbour
“He was my Stepfather's (Marshall Jr.) Father; and Brother, Gayland Farris' Grand Father.
He was a pleasant Friend to me: I lived up the hill from him on Cameron, in Double Rock, he on Eggbert in Bayview. I'd visited him occasionally and we'd talk, about what I can't recall now. The last time I recall seeing him, he was in his back yard, tending to his vegetable garden. I assumed he got the $5.00 I'd left aside his mailbox, and asked him about it, and he said no. I went to where I'd left it, and found it (I'd put it between the mailbox and the wall, and it had slide down, to where it couldn't be seen, unless looking for it).
He was one of the nicest people to have ever been in my life.
” - Ernest James Mims