Richard Preis ‘Chief’ Marcus

Published 9:32 am Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Richard Preis “Chief” Marcus, a lifelong resident of Vicksburg, passed away Sunday, March 17, at the age of 95. Richard was born in Vicksburg, the son of Isadore Marcus and Rosalie Preis Marcus.

A 1947 graduate of Carr Central High School, Richard attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. He was a member of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity and the wrestling team.

After graduating from Washington and Lee in 1951, Richard entered and graduated from OCS at Newport, R.I. as a Navy officer.

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On October 31, 1951, he married Leslie Weill Marcus and celebrated his 72nd wedding anniversary with her last Halloween.

Richard and Leslie were an inseparable couple in Vicksburg and attended all events that took place.

​Upon his return to Vicksburg, Richard took over running Marcus Furniture Company, which has been family-owned and operated since 1899.

Being an outstanding businessman, Richard opened Marcus Realty Company and ran it until the day he died.

In addition to his businesses, he was appointed to the Warren County Port Commission and served there for many years.

Richard was active his entire life in Anshe Chesed Jewish Congregation, serving as president for several terms. He was a past president of the Mississippi Furniture Association.

He served as president of the Red Cross in the 1960s and was instrumental in building a home for MIDD/West, which served those with developmental disabilities.

Richard, along with several businessmen, started the Bank of Vicksburg, which was eventually sold to Bancorp South, where he served on the board of directors.

He was a mentor to numerous people with alcohol and drug addictions.

A lifelong member of the Vicksburg Country Club, “Chief,” as he was known there, didn’t miss his Thursday or Sunday golf games.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman and was always pursuing the newest and latest things. At one point, he took up needle-pointing.

​Family was the most important thing in his life. He will be remembered for all the advice he gave. Richard was a real Renaissance Man and had one of the first computers made.

Before anyone else thought of having a home computer, Richard was educating himself and using a computer in his home office.

He Facetimed with his five great-grandchildren daily at 5, which he referred to as his “office calls.”

Not only will Chief, Paw-Paw, Richard be remembered for his advice, but also his generosity to all people, his charm, good looks, and impeccable dress and taste.

​Richard was predeceased in death by his parents, and his sister, Barbara Marcus Desenberg.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 72 years, Leslie Weill Marcus; and his children, Susan Marcus Dampf and husband, Jack of Baton Rouge, Kim Marcus Pace and husband, Martin, and Ricky Marcus; and his loving grandchildren, Paige Dampf Wormser, Paul Martin Dampf and wife Stacy, Patricia Dampf Sklar and husband, Alex. He is also survived by his Facetime mates (great-grandchildren), David, Susanna, Bradley, Aaron, and Adeline.

Honorary pallbearers are Steven Marcus, Miles Marcus, Stan Kline, Dennis East, and Jessie Sanders.

Services for Richard Marcus will be conducted Wednesday, March 20, at 11 a.m. at Anshe Chesed Temple, 2414 Grove Street in Vicksburg. Burial will immediately follow in the adjacent Jewish cemetery.

Donations may be made to the Old Courthouse Museum, 1008 Cherry St., Vicksburg, Ms 39183; Anshe Chesed Cemetery Trust Fund, P.O. Box 821286, Vicksburg, MS 39182 or a charity of your choice.