New Albany City Councilman Glyde Marsh, at 95, is believed to be the oldest elected official in the state -- and he's still going strong.
Sitting in the Ohio House of Representatives speaker's chair at the Statehouse on Feb. 12, Marsh joked about running for a state office.
It was fitting, because his friend and colleague, Plain Township trustee Dave Ferguson, quipped that it might be difficult to get Marsh out of the chair if he had the opportunity to sit in it.
Marsh was honored Feb. 12 for the distinction of being the oldest known elected official in the state by state Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville), other members of the Ohio House, friends and family.
Marsh said he wasn't sure if people would show up for the ceremony, but more than 20 people in the gallery were waiting to applaud for him.
"It's been an honor to serve with him all these years and it's always been interesting," said New Albany City Councilwoman Colleen Briscoe. "You never know exactly how he is going to comment on issues before council."
Tom Rubey, development director for the New Albany Co., agreed that Marsh can offer interesting suggestions.
"Working with Glyde for almost 20 years in varying capacities, it really has been an honor," Rubey said. "He's one of the council members you know will always do his homework before meetings and he approaches solutions to any difficult problems with humor and kindness."
New Albany City Manager Joseph Stefanov said he enjoys hearing stories after City Council meetings about how Marsh grew up in Cleveland and about the time he spent in World War II.
"He always seems to find an interesting perspective on things, legislation and things going on in the community, and he's never been shy about challenging me on legislation or on things that we present to council," Stefanov said.
Marsh's daughter, Mary Margaret McClure, said her mother, Margaret, got Marsh involved in politics.
"She never intended to run for anything but she loved to run campaigns," McClure said. "She thought Dad would do a good job and I suppose she thought she could have some influence."
Now beginning his seventh term on New Albany City Council -- he was re-elected last November -- Marsh got his start in politics as a New Albany-Plain Local school board member. He served on the school board for 10 years and was part of the Justeens, a local group that operated the former Plain Township pool on Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road through the late 1990s, before deciding to run for village council.
McClure said Margaret died in 1995 during his first term on the council.
Marsh served in World War II before coming to Columbus to attend Ohio State University. He graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine and ended up teaching at his alma mater, where he retired in 1985 as a professor of veterinary science.
In addition to his public service, he continues to work as a poultry consultant, visiting egg farms all over the state.
McClure said her father "loves people and truly loves" New Albany.