Former Modesto church leader killed in crash near Ripon

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A former leader to thousands of members of the Modesto North Stake of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints died in a crash northeast of Ripon on Tuesday.

Tony Marshall, 57, of Modesto, was driving an Acura Tuesday morning west on Mello Road, approaching a stop sign to through traffic at Murphy Road.

He failed to yield to a northbound Chevrolet Silverado, which caused the front of the Chevrolet to collide with the driver’s side of the Acura, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Marshall died at the scene. The driver of the Chevrolet suffered minor injuries.

For eight years ending in May, Marshall was the president of the Mormon Church stake that encompasses seven units from Salida, Modesto, Escalon, Riverbank, Oakdale, Sonora, and Groveland and serves over 4,000 members, said the new stake president, Dave Neilson.

The stake president serves as the presiding minister and leader over the organization of the church, Neilson said.

“He was a great speaker and very inspiring and optimistic in how he delivered his messages,” Neilson said.

Marshall was Bishop of the Riverbank ward before that.

“He is well-known in the community,” Neilson said. “He just loves people and is one of those kind of people that will serve and help quietly in very personal ways.”

Marshall, a civil engineer, recently helped a woman fix her bathroom that was in need of major repair.

The woman couldn’t afford to hire someone so Marshall learned how to lay tile and did it himself.

Another “distinguishing characteristic was his great love for the youth; he devoted and spent a lot of time serving and helping them,” Neilson said. “He was a very optimistic and positive and outgoing man.”

Marshall is survived by his wife, Lisa, his sons, Brady and McKay, and daughters, Heather and Jennie.

A funeral service will be held at the Dale Road Stake Center at 4300 Dale Road in Modesto on Saturday, Feb. 2. There will be a viewing at 10 a.m., followed by a service at 11 a.m.

Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.