VCSO investigator retires after 29 years of service (Video)
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Thurmond Marshall, 59, of Victoria, retired Friday as an investigator after almost 30 years of service with the Victoria County Sheriff's Office.
"I enjoyed working for the people - and the sheriff's office," Marshall said. "But I really enjoyed working for the people."
Originally from Victoria, Marshall attended Texas A&I University and went on to play pro football with the Denver Broncos.
An injury ended Marshall's professional football career, so he worked as a state trooper in Denver for about three years before moving back home to work as a deputy for the Victoria County Sheriff's Office.
Rev. Karl Combs, 58, who attended the retirement ceremony, said he remembers playing football with Marshall in high school.
"He was a great friend and teammate," Combs said. "He always had a thing in school - he always liked to take up for those who couldn't take up for themselves."
Another teammate present at the ceremony agreed. Carl Prince Sr., 58, said he and Marshall were best friends attending school together from Hopkins Elementary School to Patti Welder Middle School and ultimately playing football and running track together at Stroman High School.
"He's a very good comedian. Always fun to have around," Prince said. "There were no bad moments with Thurmond. He was a best friend and a good cousin."
Coworkers expressed surprise that Marshall did not have a smart comment for the occasion to which he replied, "I'll save it for later."
Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor said he would remember Marshall for his commanding presence coupled with a humble authority.
"Thurmond was always even-keeled in his temperament," O'Connor said. "He had common sense and stayed focused."
O'Connor said Marshall's attention to detail helped him perform his job as an investigator. Because of his calm, humble manner, people felt comfortable with him.
"He listened when you least expected it and picked up on the little things. He was able to get an unbelievable amount of information from people," O'Connor said. "And people gravitated toward him."
Toward the end of his career, Marshall devoted his time to at-risk children.
Marshall's two brothers are deceased but he was joined at the ceremony by his "more mature" sisters Dorothy Ross, of Victoria, Barbara Oliver, of San Antonio, and his younger sister Lois Atwood, of Austin.
Ross said she and Marshall were "partners in crime" growing up, but he was always the baby of the family.
She said when he was hospitalized he would call her when he was hungry.
"I would tell him to call the hospital staff and ask them to bring him some more food and he would say, 'I'm not going to ask those people for food - just bring me a hamburger," Ross said. "He would always call me."
Marshall thanked his family and friends for attending his retirement celebration.
"It is very nice that all these people came out for the ceremony. It feels good for people to celebrate with me," Marshall said. "It shows me that they love me."