Marshall T. Bedol, who spent many years in the family business, MarshAllan Industries, died Feb. 3 at age 87. Mr. Bedol oversaw the factory and worked to attract clients. He and his twin brother Alan, for whom their father named MarshAllan, ran the company with their younger brother Justin.
MarshAllan’s products included barbecue grills, patio tables, tray tables with popular characters’ images, and customized trays for eight presidential inaugural balls. At one point, the company had hundreds of employees. The Bedols sold MarshAllan in 1989 to Ed Crawford of Kay Home Products, a division of ParkOhio. They started Alamar Industries and continued to run Kay.
In their youth, the Bedols helped their father transport his wares on streetcars and push them down chutes in area stores. They graduated from Cleveland Heights High School. During World War II, they and two friends enlisted in the National Ski Patrol so the group could stay together. They served in Italy with the 10th Mountain Division. Both Bedols earned Bronze Stars.
As mirror-image twins, Marshall was left-handed, and Alan was right-handed. Since they had different academic strengths, they sometimes took tests for each other at Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University). They regularly attended the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, served meals to needy people, and were involved in political activities.
Mr. Bedol encouraged others to aid Jews leaving the Soviet Union. In his opinion piece, “Why we should help Soviet Jews come here” (CJN, Aug. 3, 1979), it was noted that MarshAllan was one of Cleveland’s largest employers of Soviet Jews. He headed the Jewish Vocational Service board of trustees refugee employment committee, and he led an effort by the organization to help college students find summer jobs.
In 1980, then-mayor George Voinovich asked Mr. Bedol to greet well-known people attending a debate at Cleveland’s Convention Center. He escorted Barbara Walters, Coretta Scott King and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, among others.
Mr. Bedol enjoyed traveling with his family. In 2007, he and his wife were honored by the Jewish Family Service Association at an “Amazing People, Amazing Minds” benefit.
Mr. Bedol is survived by his wife Marilyn (nee Meshorer); children Gregg (Jan) of Atlanta, Brian (Judy) of Manhattan, Heidi (Mark) Weisman and Melissa; and six grandchildren. Contributions are suggested to The Temple-Tifereth Israel, 26000 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood OH 44122, ttti.org, or Jewish Family Service Association, Marketing and Development Offices, 3659 S. Green Road, Suite 325, Beachwood, OH 44122, jfsa-cleveland.org/donate.ap.