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Celebrating 75 Years of Quality
BY LANA HAMILTON Leader Democrat Editor
Marshall Monuments is no longer owned by the Marshall family, but current owner Bob Strong has
continued to honor their name during the 48 years he has owned the business. Claude Marshall
started the business in 1946 – 75 years ago – and in 1960 his son, Woody bought the business and
continued with the trade.
It was during Woody’s tenure that Strong became involved. Strong’s former wife, Sue, is related to
the Marshalls and that is how Strong knew them. He started working there in 1973.
Bob graduated from Salem High School in 1970, had his sights on college, and was forging a
path in pre-med. While he was attending Indiana University Southeast he worked at the JayC store.
Woody had witnessed the way that Bob interacted with the customers. “He (Woody) watched me and
liked the way I handled the customers,” Bob said. Soon after that, Woody asked him to join him at
He started with tasks such as answering the phone and cleaning. “I worked my way through the
monument business,” Bob said. Along the way, he learned the craft and quickly developed a vision that
monuments be more than nameplates. On Jan. 2, 1980, Bob bought the business.
What he came to love about it was the creativity that goes into making the monuments. Bob
explained, “Monuments are pieces of art in a cemetery that will be here forever.
“I feel that a memorial design should tell a story and I have committed myself to create artistic
memorials that not only reflect each family’s expressions but also blend with the lovely and natural
surroundings of the cemeteries in which they are placed.”
In March of 2017, Corey Churchman came aboard and Bob has been training him, just as Woody
introduced him to the business.
When many monument companies have gone to computer-aided carving, they continue to carve all
their work by hand. They pride themselves in this craftsmanship. Corey said, “Nothing goes out the
door that we wouldn’t have ourselves.”
Helping run the business for the past 16 years has been Bob’s sister, Debbie Strong.
Bob has been easing himself away from the business over the past couple of years but admits it’s
hard to let go. “I miss it when I’m away,” he said. After a health scare earlier this year, he has had to
rely on Debbie and Corey to run the show. He knows the business is in good hands and when he
decides to officially retire, things are in place for the business to continue under Corey’s management.
Corey is a 2003 graduate of West Washington High School and studied business at IUS. He lives in
Campbellsburg with his wife, Lauren, and their two boys.
The integrity, careful thought, and sincere service which Bob has instilled into the business will
continue forever. “To us, there is no other way to handle such a business, and we will always maintain
that value,” Corey said.
Bob said that although they cannot go out and create new business, their services are always going
to be needed. “It’s not just a job, we treasure everyone who trusts us,” Bob said.
“Unlike other items you will select in life, a memorial is forever.”