Cecilia Suyat Marshall (1928-2022)

Puʻunēnē-born Cecilia Suyat Marshall, the wife of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, died on Nov. 22 at the age of 94.

Thurgood Marshall’s son and widow seated in courtroom as opinion in Schuette is announced. Illustration by Art Lien

Cecilia, known often as “Cissy,” grew up on Maui, moved to New York, and worked as a legal secretary for the NAACP, where she met her husband. Notably, she assisted him on Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark ruling that prohibited racial segregation in public schools. 

Current Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who served as a clerk to Thurgood Marshall, called Cissy a “marvelous woman” and wrote in a statement, “Every clerk to Justice Marshall received a sort of bonus: the steadfast friendship and support of his wife.”

Jacob Shafer