"She didn't know if the help would work with me," he said.
At first, he had minimal contact with the public, often handing prescriptions toward the front of the store from the enclosed pharmacy workspace.
There were never any dramatic moments, and while it took some time for white citizens to accept him his colleagues became some of his life-long friends.
"They protected me. They took up for me. They shielded me," he said.
"As time went on, we didn't have any problems. Even downtown, a lot of white people supported me. They patted me on the back and said 'Stay with it man. Glad to see you.'"
Years later, Ward's Cut-Rate was bought by the Eckerd Corp., and the company asked Marshall to work in its stores across Tarrant County as each store's first black pharmacist. From Haltom City to Arlington Heights, Marshall changed locations frequently during his 35 years with the company.
"They used me to integrate the other stores. I was the point person to break the ice," Marshall told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/YdRlWu).
Entering the profession with a simple desire to heal and help the sick one prescription at a time, Marshall found himself mending the racial riff in America one local prescription at a time.
"My first motivation was I wanted a good job. Pharmacy is a good profession," Marshall said. "I like the idea I was able to bring about some integration."
Marshall retired in 1997. He returned to part-time pharmacy work for many years though is now fully retired.
Looking back on his life, Marshall finds meaning in the obstacles.
"What strikes me is that I prayed for this. It was a prayer that was answered. It seems like I went into the Air Force and I more or less failed. I didn't get to do what I wanted to or attain the rank that I wanted to. I feel like even that failing was God putting that obstacle in my way," he said.
"(My prayer) sticks with me. It bolstered my faith. My whole career as a pharmacist has been beautiful. I feel good that I had the temperament and presence to go into an adverse situation and overcome it."
Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com
This is an AP Member Exchange shared by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.