Marchal receives 2022 Garst Museum Heritage Award


Staff report

GREENVILLE — Serving nearly 20 years on one board might be enough for some individuals, but John F. Marchal contributed to other organizations equally as long. Recognized, once again, “for significant contributions” to the community, John F. Marchal has received another prestigious award. During Darke County Historical Society’s (DCHS) March 29 Annual Meeting at Garst Museum, John was recognized as the 2022 Heritage Award recipient.

John’s initial service on the Garst board was for nearly 20 years, most of those as chairman, and his contributions served to elect him as an Emeritus Director of that board in 2017. After a three-year hiatus, he came back on that same board to continue to serve.

Concurrently, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Greenville National Bank and helped organize the Greenville Schools Foundation, serving on its board as the first president. The long list of other significant contributions includes the Brethren Retirement Community, the Boy Scouts of America, Rotary, and other local business and political organizations.

As president of the DCHS Board, John spoke on the occasion of its 100th anniversary in November 2003. His opening comments for that celebration were: “I would like to take a few minutes tonight to talk about the word history. History is what happens every day. It’s the actions of daily living, mankind’s effort to deal with the challenges and changes it faces in life.

“For thousands of years, people have recognized the need for recording or passing on these actions to preserve them for those who are to come. There has been a recognition that there is a value in knowing and understanding our past and a realization that our past is the platform on which we build the future. It is a tool which helps us reflect so that we can preserve what is good and useful and avoid that which isn’t.”

He went on from there, but John’s recognition of the need to preserve our history seems to have been the passion and driving force behind his actions for nearly two decades. He has devoted countless hours to growing and strengthening the Garst Museum and the history of Darke County.

According to museum CEO Dr. Clay Johnson, the DCHS’s Heritage Award was created to recognize citizens or organizations for their distinguished contributions or actions of unusual excellence that help connect people to Darke County’s past.

Dr. Johnson added, “John’s leadership as board chairman for twenty years, experience, and unique insight into the administrative needs of the DCHS have been an integral part of our success. On a more personal level, I have benefited from his tutelage, admired his commitment to the community, and always enjoy our conversations. John’s legendary support for the Darke County community goes far beyond his decades of dedicated assistance to the Garst Museum. It is an honor to present the Heritage Award to him.”

John and his wife Joy live in Greenville, where John has practiced law for almost 64 years. John joins the other Heritage Award recipients since the award’s inception in 1983 as he continues to connect people to Darke County’s history.

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