Homer Bland Marshall, who ran an auto repair shop on the city's near East Side for 40 years, died Monday in his Buffalo home under hospice care after a lengthy illness. He was 84.
Born in Newton, Texas, the third of 12 children, he attended school there and worked as a carpenter until he came to Buffalo in 1947.
Called H.B. by his friends, he opened Homer's Auto Shop in 1949, first on Seneca Street, then moved to 420 Sycamore St., where the shop still operates.
He was one of the first African-American mechanics to repair Dynaflow automatic transmissions and was known for the quality of his work, his fairness and his dependability. He retired and turned the business over to his son, Anthony, in 1989.
A faithful member of the Church of God Tabernacle, he served as chairman of the church's board of trustees for 13 years. He also served on the Usher Board and enjoyed traveling to usher conventions throughout the Northeast.
An avid fisherman and boater, he enjoyed many fishing excursions with his son, Homer Jr., his brothers and his nephews. He also hunted for deer and moose.
He married his high school sweetheart, the former Ethel J. Scurry, in 1944. She died in 1990.
In addition to his two sons, survivors include three daughters, Waidene Murphy, Gwendolyn Walker and Jewel; a brother, Robert; and five sisters, Doretha Loeb, Mildred Stewart, Katie Sparks, Daisy Marshall and Otha Dunlop.
Services will be held at noon Friday in Calvary Baptist Church, 1184 Genesee St.