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David B. Marblestone

David B. Marblestone, age 85, died in his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland on December 25, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Barbara, their two daughters, Ruth and Judy, sons-in-law, three grandchildren, four nieces, several cousins, and brother-in-law. He was preceded in death by his parents, Irving and Bernice B. Marblestone, and his brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Anne Marblestone.

Dave was born in 1936 in Taylorville, Illinois. He graduated from Taylorville High School in 1954 and from the University of Illinois in 1958. He received a master’s degree in Soviet Studies from Harvard University in 1961, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1963.

Dave and Barbara moved to Maryland in 1964, where Dave spent nearly his entire career as an attorney in the United States Department of Justice in Washington DC, the better part of those years in the Civil Rights Division, whose mission was closest to his heart. With two fairly brief forays into other Divisions (Office of Legal Counsel, Office of Special Investigations) he was at the Civil Rights Division from 1966 until his retirement in 1994. While he dealt, over the years, with fair employment, housing, federally assisted programs, and even criminal law, his single longest stint at Civil Rights was devoted to enforcing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Dave’s voice was never loud or strident. He was a friend and mentor to junior attorneys or anyone else who sought his counsel, always willing to share his knowledge and to teach others.

Though modest and unassuming, Dave’s unbending integrity and commitment to truth and justice make him a hard act to follow. A sympathetic, thoughtful, and loyal person, he cared deeply about the less fortunate among us. After retiring, Dave volunteered his time tutoring math, advocating for human rights in famine-stricken Darfur, and campaigning for various political candidates. He touched the lives of many.

Dave derived pleasure from the simple things in life. His wide-ranging interests included bird watching, music, reading, golf, and genealogy research. Above all else, Dave was a loving and warm person who will be long remembered and missed by his family, friends, and former colleagues. Golf was of great interest to Dave, as he made good friends at the Taylorville Country Club and learned the game of golf at the club.
Services will be held privately. Memorial donations may be made to Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP), Chesapeake Climate Action Network Fund (CCAN) Washington Hebrew Congregation’s Abram Simon Elementary School Camp Fund, or to your favorite charity.

1 Comment

  1. Carol Hershey Periard on January 28, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Dave and I often rode the train together while he was in Michigan law school and I was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. We talked much…I thoroughly enjoyed his learned conversation not to mention his carrying of my suitcases between the train stations in Chicago. I’m sure he was a credit to our government and country. I remember him with great fondness as well as his parents.

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