1999 Inductee - Marshall V. Espinoza

1999 Inductee - Marshall V. Espinoza

Law and Justice

Marcelino (Marshall) Espinoza was born in Kingsburg, California. He was one of a family of 14 brothers and sisters. His parents migrated to the United States from Mexico in the early 1900’s. They left Mexico to get away from the turmoil of the “Mexican Revolution.” He attended numerous schools at different locations because the family moved frequently to follow the harvest seasons and schooling was not a necessity, but survival was. Despite playing catch-up, through the years, he was able to continue his schooling whenever possible.

Marshall served in the Army during World War 11 and returned to his home in Stockton, California after the war. His life might have been spent working in the canneries and not helping others, if it was not for two conversations. One, he arrived home from work one day, tired and dirty. His youngest daughter asked him, “Why don’t you go to work in a white shirt like Mathew’s father?” Second, a few days later, at his job, he saw the effects of his advice on a youngster. A young teenager walked up to him and asked for a match to light his cigarette. Marshall was quite disturbed to see a youngster smoking. He asked the youngster why he smoked and told him he should spend his money on healthy things, like milkshakes and hamburgers. Marshall expected a rude reply from the youngster, but the boy said nothing. Later he found the full pack of cigarettes on the loading deck floor.

Upon hearing about the incidents, his wife suggested that he return to school. With her support he completed his education. He graduated from Stanislaus State University and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice.

Marshall went to work for the State of California and retired after 25 years as a field Parole Agent. He specialized in hard core and drug abuse cases. He became involved as a volunteer with several community programs; he was selected to participate in a million dollar federally funded program, The Tri-County Gang Task Force, by the District Attorney’s Office. Other programs dealing with gang problems in the community included an early intervention gang project called The Gang Suppression Division headed by the Stockton Police Department, and the Metro-Gang Task Force.

Marshall also belonged to several community organizations and received awards from “The Center for Positive Prevention Alternatives”; was a member of the Stockton Unified School District Student Services Committee, and was a volunteer with the Thumbs Up program with the Stockton Police Department. Marshall was appointed to the Crime Awareness and Prevention Commission as a Crime Commissioner by the San Joaquin County Supervisors to identify and implement recommendations. This involved several years and culminated in the printing of the book “Crime Awareness and Prevention Commission” which contained 55 recommendations.

He worked with the Pacific Islanders Organization, and taught Transactional Analysis to Probationers. He worked with The Coalition of Mexican American Organizations (COMA), an organization made up of local Hispanic clubs and organizations in the community. He was instrumental in initiating two formal black and white gala events while he was the president of MACA. The purpose of these events was to acquire funds to help Delta Junior College students with scholarships.

Marshall received awards from the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, from the Warden of the Duel Vocational Institution, the Comite Patriotico, MACA and other agencies for his participation in the community. His two greatest honors were when he was selected by the community to serve as Grand Marshal of the Cinco de Mayo Parade, and his induction into the Mexican American Hall of Fame.