Marshall D. Rumbaugh,75, longtime resident of Dallas, passed away at his home on Sunday, July 23rd. He was born in Kingston to the late Dr. Marshall U. Rumbaugh and Bebe Rumbaugh. It was a family tradition to name a son Marshall, and he was the fourth to be so named.
Like his father, he attended Wyoming Seminary in Kingston. After graduating from Syracuse University, he spent five years working with Britain’s National Trust. He traveled around the U.K. cataloging archaeological relics while befriending locals in places as far-flung as the Shetland Islands. He returned to the U.S. with wonderful stories, including some ghostly tales about his own experiences in an old home he rented in York.
It was during this time that he began to develop his interest in wood carving. He studied for many years under Hope Horn in Scranton, whom he considered to be his mentor. He later studied under master wood carvers in Oberammergau, Germany, a city famed for its carvings of biblical figures. When he returned to the U.S., Marshal continued carving biblical figures and nativity scenes, some of which were purchased by museums and private collectors.
His sculptural pieces depicting the Amish and the Mennonites attracted more collectors, including the owners of Olde Hope Antiques, in New Hope, Pennsylvania. They were very supportive of Marshall’s work and in 2022, their gallery in New York City showcased an exhibition entitled, Carved from America’s Story, The Sculpture of Marshall Rumbaugh.
His carvings, which often depicted actual events, showcased his gift for storytelling and his love of history. The civil rights movement inspired much of his later work. His sculpture of Rosa Parks is permanently displayed in the Smithsonian Museum’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May, New Jersey recently purchased two pieces, one depicting Harriet Tubman leading slaves north and another of the famed abolitionist William Still.
Locally, he carved a relief that adorns the entrance of the Children’s Library in Dallas. He also carved the crucifix and the Stations of the Cross in King’s College’s former chapel, as well as a sculpture of Father Basil Moreau, who founded the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Marshall was a student of family history and lore, as was his grandfather, Dr. Marshall C. Rumbaugh. Both could tell you details about ancestors who emigrated to the colonies long before the Revolutionary War. Marshall’s knack for vivid storytelling made them come alive.
He is survived by his wife, Anne Rumbaugh of Dallas; his stepchildren Hannah (Saham) Alhusseini, Ben, David, Sarah, and Ruthie Poole, his sister and brother-in-law Gail and John O’Brien of Rio Verde, AZ; his brother and sister-in-law Scott and Joyce Rumbaugh of Dresden, TN; his nephews, Mac O’Brien and Conor O’Brien (Alexandra) and Rick Sparrow; his nieces Erin O’Brien, Elora Rumbaugh and Adrianne Forbes; his great-nephews Curran Marshall O’Brien, Éamonn O’Brien, and Vincent Sparrow; and great-nieces Ada O’Brien and Róisín O’Brien.
Marshall will be remembered with love and affection by many for his kindness, his gentle manner, his spirituality, his love of family and friends, his many stories and his legacy of art. As his nephew, Curran, said, “He was an inspirational person whose passion for life spoke through his pursuits.”
Funeral Services will be held privately at the convenience for the family. Arrangements are under the direction of The Richard H. Disque Funeral Home, Inc., 2940 Memorial Highway, Dallas, Pa. On line condolences may be made at Disquefuneralhome.com