John Marshall, 91, of Devon, a retired communications director and a senior member and facilitator of a prostate-cancer support group, died of sepsis on Thursday, Dec. 15, at Paoli Memorial Hospital.

His wife of 58 years had died two months ago, and although the official cause of Mr. Marshall's death was complications from an infection, he died of a broken heart, their son William said.

Mr. Marshall graduated in 1938 from West Philadelphia High School. He was student body president, starred in several Shakespeare productions, and was voted "peppiest" member of his class, his son said.

During World War II, he served in the Navy as a writer for the base newspaper in Bainbridge, Md., and aboard the troop ship Mount Vernon.

After his discharge, he was an account executive with Charles Blum Advertising Agency in Philadelphia. There he met his future wife, Cynthia Churchman, a secretary for the agency. They married on Halloween 1952.

Later, he worked in the communications department at Smith, Kline & French, now part of GlaxoSmithKline.

In the early 1960s, he joined ARA Services, now Aramark. While with ARA, he attended the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City and the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and directed documentaries about the dietary needs of athletes, his son said.

After retiring from ARA in 1985, he joined his wife selling residential real estate on the Main Line. He was associated with Prudential Fox Roach in Devon until three years ago.

Mr. Marshall was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1982. He joined a prostate cancer support group when it was founded 20 years ago at Bryn Mawr Hospital. The group, which recently moved to a medical building in Newtown Square, meets monthly.

In a 1996 Inquirer article on the group, Mr. Marshall called it "a lifetime clue. We're all in it together."

He attended the meetings regularly until two months ago, when his wife died.

The couple, who had lived in Strafford and in Wayne, raised three sons. They enjoyed vacationing with their children in Westport, Mass., and often visited St. Barthelemy in the Caribbean.

Mr. Marshall was active with the men's group at St. David's Episcopal Church in Wayne. He was also a longtime lector at Sunday services, and did liturgical readings for the annual Christmas pageant.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at the church, 763 S. Valley Forge Rd., Wayne.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.