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Former Newport mayor remembered for her charitable nature

Doreen Demond Marshall, who served on the City Council for eight years, has died. She was 88.

November 18, 2011|By Alisha Gomez

Marshall, the eldest of four children, grew close with her brother while she served in public office. Demond built homes in the area, and the two often attended various events together.

Her love of music translated into her involvement with the Pacific Chorale, something that was close to her heart. Having bought her outfit, Marshall had hoped to attend the gala for Pacific Chorale artistic director John Alexander on Nov. 6. Sadly, Marshall couldn't make it.

"She was a model board member and citizen," said Kelly Ruggirello, Pacific Chorale president. "She will be sorely missed by everyone here … She was a close family member for a lot of us.

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"Even during these hard economic times, she would contact us and ask, 'How are you doing?', and 'Do you need any assistance?' She wanted to make sure Pacific Chorale was strong, and people like that are rare gems in the community."

While working for the Police Department, Evelyn Hart, another former mayor and councilwoman, first met Marshall.

"She was the only council member back then to [physically] check in on us," Hart said. "I always admired her for being so hands-on as a councilwoman and mayor. She was a great person to have helped our city. Of course, we will all miss her."

Former Assemblywoman Marian Bergeson met Marshall, who was then mayor, while she served on Newport-Mesa Unified's school board.

"Doreen really was a terrific civic pioneer when it came to fashioning Newport from a resort community to a residential territory," said Bergeson, who added that so much of what's seen today in Newport Beach can be attributed to Marshall.

She was surrounded by loved ones when she passed, said Demond, who noted that a wonderful transformation happened: All of the people who loved Marshall came together and got to know each other and, in a way, celebrate her life.

After reading three verses of the book of Psalms in the Bible, she died peacefully, he said.

Marshall is survived by Demond and his wife, Christy; her sister Joan Demond; nephews Ted and Jackson Demond; nieces Bailey Demond Slater (and her husband Michael) and Johanna Pearson; and cousin Cleo Cole.

She is also remembered by close friends Peter Hohl, Godson Toby Hohl, Genevieve Valdez and Jerry Greer.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Elaine Demond.

There will be no services, her family said. In lieu of flowers, they are asking for donations to be made in her memory to the Marshalls' fund at the Orange County Community Foundation, their scholarship fund at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, or to the Pacific Chorale.

alisha.gomezberman@latimes.com

Twitter: @thedailypilot

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