Marshal Shirk

Marshal Shirk played college football at famed UCLA and joined the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1965.  Shirk would go to play 7 seasons for the Rough Riders (1965-71), establishing himself as a tough, aggressive defensive tackle.  Shirk won three East All-Star selections at defensive tackle (1968, 1969 and 1970).  Shirk was named Ottawa's Outstanding Lineman in 1970 and 1971 as well as being the team's nominee for the CFL's Outstanding Lineman in 1971.  Shirk played in three Grey Cup games, winning two (1968 and 1969) and losing  one (1966). Shirk was released by Ottawa in July of 1972 during training camp.  Shirk's performance had dropped off, many speculated due to the death of his close friend and defensive line partner, in a plane crash in June of that year.

Submitted by Tom Carey, Class of 65  



Billy Joe Booth
Compliments of Billy Hathorn, Class of 1966

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Billy Joe Booth (April 7, 1940 - June 30, 1972) played professionally with the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League from 1962-1970. He also played for his alma maters, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Minden High School in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, where he was born and reared. After his football career, Booth was an electrical contractor for the IC Electric Company in Harvey, a census-designated place on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish near New Orleans.

Booth and his friend, James W. Magee, Jr. (1938-1972), of Morgan City in Terrebonne Parish in south Louisiana, were killed in an airplane crash near Dorchester, Ontario. The two were in Canada on a fishing trip when their four-seat Piper Cherokee Arrow crashed during a thunderstorm. Witnesses said that the plane blew up and fell to the ground, with wreckage spread over an area of some one and one-half miles. The plane was en route from Windsor to London but crashed some ten miles before reaching its destination.

Booth was born and reared in the small city of Minden. He graduated from Minden High School in 1958 and then LSU in 1962, having received a bachelor of science degree in physical education.  At Minden High School, Booth played football from 1954 to 1957. His coach for the first three seasons was the former professional player, George Doherty, but Doherty left Minden for Louisiana Tech University in Ruston in Booth's senior year. Another of Booth's coaches was his maternal uncle, Patrick Cary Nation (1918-2005), later a school principal. Booth was designated "All-State" and the "Outstanding Blocker" in 1956. He also played baseball in 1956 and ran track from 1955-1958. He was All-State in track in 1957. He was an elected member of the MHS Student Council in his senior year. At LSU, he played in the 1962 Senior Bowl.

Booth was six feet tall and weighed 240 pounds. Many had considered him too small to be a defensive end, but his toughness and determination was said to have overcome his physical limitations. His size thwarted his ultimate goal of playing in the National Football League. Booth's team won the Ryder Cup in both 1968 and 1969. During the 1969 season, he was named "Outstanding Lineman" in the eastern division of the Canadian Football League. He lost the coveted Schenley Award to John Legrone of the Edmonton Eskimos. Booth was not compelled to retire but could likely have played a few more seasons. Many lamented his decision to leave the game and the circumstances of his ill-fated fishing trip.

He was the son of Coy Dexter Booth (ca. 1915-2004), who retired in 1978 from the Kansas City Southern Railway and was formerly employed as a carman by Louisiana and Arkansas Railroad, and the former Fern Nation (1915-2001)  a Minden native. The Booths were living in Shreveport when their son was killed. Booth married the former Janice Schouest, whom he met at LSU, and was the father of two young sons, Mike Booth (born ca. 1963) and Coy Ulysses Booth (born ca. 1965 - since deceased, automobile accident victim). He had a sister, Carole Booth Mulina (born ca. 1944), and brother-in-law, Andy V. Mulina (born ca. 1942), then of Cleveland, Ohio, and later of the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Missouri.

Booth grew up in the Missionary Baptist denomination. After his death, the congregation of the former Central Missionary Baptist Church of Shreveport, under the late pastor Dwayne Furlow, established the Billy Joe Booth Memorial Press. Booth's father at the time was a deacon at the church. The late L.L. Clover, a prominent Missionary Baptist minister from Minden and longtime friend of the Booth family, officiated at the dedication ceremonies. When Central Baptist merged with another congregation, the Booths transferred their membership to the Heritage Missionary Baptist Church in Bossier City.

Six years before his death, Booth penned a letter to his young sons informing them that he might not live as long as most people. Booth urged the boys to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ. Booth told his sons: "The good Lord has been good to me, and He will do the same for you if you will only put your faith and trust in Him." In making the letter public, Pastor Furlow added in his comments: "We need to be ready to meet God at every moment. We do not know when our name shall be called by the Death Angel."
Booth is interred in Westlawn Memorial Park in Gretna in Jefferson Parish.

The following information was submitted by Waurynne Hurley Neeley. Billy's father was Coy Booth. He worked with Waurynne's Dad at the L&A Railroad in Minden, Louisiana. They were both carmen.

Billy Joe Booth, MHS - Class of 1958

According to what we have been able to learn from the obit of Billy Joe Booth...Funeral Services were held for Billy Joe Booth, 32, son of Mr. & Mrs. Coy D. Booth of Shreveport will be at 3:30 p.m., Monday at the Mothe Funeral Home in Harvey, Louisiana.   Billy Joe Booth was one of two persons killed in a plane crash at London, Ontario around noon  Friday, June 30, 1972.  Also killed in the crash was J. W. Mc Gee of Morgan City.  The two were in Canada on a fishing expedition and their plane crashed during a thunderstorm.  Billy Joe was working as an electrical contractor at Harvey, and was a former professional football player.  He played professional football with the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1962 to 197_ and was selected as all pro in the Canadian League.  Survivors in addition to Mr. Booth's parents include his widow Janice Schouest Booth and sons, Mike Booth and Coy Booth, both of Harvey; and a sister, Mrs. Carole Mulina of Cleveland, Ohio.  Burial will be in Westlawn Memorial Park in Gretna.