Robert B. Marr

Published 8:37 pm Saturday, November 30, 2013

SUFFOLK — The Rev. Dr. Robert B. Marr, 95, died Nov. 28, 2013. Since 2002 he had been a resident of Lake Prince Woods in Suffolk.

He was born in Cambridge, Mass., the son of the late Edward R. and Enid Burrell Marr. He was a graduate of Springfield College and Andover Newton Theological School. Elon College awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1969.

He was pastor of Suffolk Christian Church (at that time affiliated with the United Church of Christ) for 23 years, from 1962 through 1985. During his retirement years, he served as interim pastor of a number of Eastern Virginia churches and was grateful for a continuing relationship with Oakland Christian Church. Before coming to Suffolk, he was pastor of Congregational and UCC churches in Dunbarton, N.H., Grafton, Mass., Fairport, N.Y., and Conneaut, Ohio. He also served on numerous local, state and national committees of the United Church of Christ (UCC).

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He was an active member and former president of the Suffolk Rotary Club and served on numerous civic committees and organizations, including several years as chairman of the City of Suffolk Parks and Recreation Committee. His commitment to civic service was recognized by two cities: in 1960 he was honored as Citizen of the Year of Conneaut, Ohio, and in 1973 he was honored as Suffolk’s Citizen of the Year.

Robert was preceded in death by his brother, Edward R. Marr Jr., and his sisters, Alice Johnson and Florence Marr.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 69 years, Barbara Putnam Marr; sons, Wayne Putnam Marr (Naomi), of Damascus, Md., and Bruce Burrell Marr, of Chicago, Ill.; daughters, Lauren Marr Wood (David), of Middle Grove, N.Y., Diane Marr Asiel (John), of New York City, and Sarah Marr, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; a brother, Frederic Marr, of San Diego, Calif.; six grandchildren: Christopher Marr (Summer), Adam Marr, Sarah Zaman (Nadim), Glen Mathis (Daria), Martin McLaughlin, and Rachel McLaughlin; great-grandchildren: Myles, Chase, and Wayde Marr, and Lyndon Zaman. Also dear to his heart are several nieces and nephews, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren.

The love and support of his family gave Bob his greatest joy, but he was also very grateful for the friendships that came from his many years of church ministry and civic activity, from tennis courts and golf courses, and from his annual summer visits to Silver Bay on Lake George, N.Y. The residents of Lake Prince Woods have been an extended family.

A celebration of Robert’s life will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at 2 p.m. in Suffolk Christian Church. The Rev. Dr. Woodie Rae, the Rev. Michael D. Halley and the Rev. Greg Ryan will officiate. Following the service, the family will greet friends at a reception in the church fellowship hall. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to: Lake Prince Woods Benevolence Fund, 100 Anna Goode Way, Suffolk VA 23434; Silver Bay YMCA, 87 Silver Bay Road, Silver Bay, NY 12874; Oakland Christian Church UCC, 5641 Godwin Blvd., P.O. Box 2008, Suffolk, VA 23432; or Suffolk Christian Church, 216 N. Main St., Suffolk, VA 23434.

R. W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434, is serving the family. Condolences may be registered at