He was the founding member of Aberdeen Mountain Rescue, the man behind the city’s first climbing shop and was tirelessly committed to the best interests of Braemar.
But for the family of Bill Marshall – there was so much more to their ‘man of action’.
“We’ve seen and read a lot of the tributes – for which we are really thankful,” said Neil Marshall, Bill’s son.
“My father was one of those men… not just the mountain rescue man. There was so much more to him.”
Man behind the tributes
Born on June 26 1935, the former Aberdeen businessman has died aged 86.
Married to Dora for 64 years, the couple wed on their shared birthday in 1957.
In the early 1960s Bill became involved in the Aberdeen Adventure Club.
And by 1964 he felt he had a group from within the club who were sufficiently skilled and capable to form a mountain rescue team.
Aberdeen Mountain Rescue said: “Bill’s local contacts in and around Aberdeen were key to the success of the venture.
“He was able to beg and borrow essential pieces of equipment to allow the team to function.
“The early days of the team were undoubtedly challenging but Bill’s enthusiasm and commitment were central to the development of the team as an effective unit.”
In 1969 Bill approached the Order of St John and from that relationship grew a partnership of major support across Scotland’s mountain rescue teams.
Knowing Aberdeen was still up to 60 miles from where they could be needed, Bill approached estates in upper Deeside.
He managed to negotiate access to buildings on both the Balmoral and Mar Lodge estates.
This meant the team could attend callouts in Lochnagar and in the Cairngorms.
Around the same time he opened Marshall’s Mountaineering – an outdoor shop most successful when it moved to George Street.
The first of its kind in the city it was the go-to place for climbing and ski supplies.
Bill stood down as team leader in 1974 but continued to have an interest in mountain rescue and was always very supportive of the team and its members.
In a tribute from the team, they said: “It would be difficult to overstate Bill’s contribution.
“Not only to the creation and development of the Aberdeen team but also his vision for mountain rescue across Scotland.
“His lasting legacy is that almost 60 years on the Aberdeen team is very much at the forefront of mountain rescue in Scotland.”
Commitment to Braemar
Bill also dedicated himself to the work of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme taking on the role of award assessor.
“My father really believed in helping young people develop the lifelong skills and experience that could be gained from time spent in the Cairngorms,” said Neil Marshall.
Bill moved with his family from Aberdeen to Braemar in 1977 and lived there from then on.
As well as being immersed in community interests it was the perfect location for mountaineering and cross-country ski touring.
Bill worked with the Gordon Enterprise Trust during the 1990s helping mentor, develop and support numerous fledgling businesses across the region.
Bettering his community
On his retirement his attention switched to more local projects in and around Braemar including his role as warden of Morrone Birkwood Nature Reserve.
His work supporting the redevelopment of Braemar Castle from 2006 onwards was probably his most ambitious project.
And one with the greatest lasting legacy with the castle once again open to the public.
Simon Blackett, chairman of Braemar Community Limited said: “I knew Bill for a long time and he was simply a wonderful man.
“He tirelessly served Braemar community and always worked for the betterment of everything he turned his hand to.
“But he was particularly proud of the work he did to see the improvement and enhancement of footpaths and bridges.
“Prince Charles came to the official opening of some of those.”
And outside all of his other engagements he even found the time to write a crime and mystery novel.
“It’s Only Money” was published in 2017.
Neil added: “A man of action, he has certainly left his mark and will be sorely missed.”
Bill is survived by his wife Dora, three sons and four grandchildren.