I am ill-equipped to write the personal history of Dr. J. Stanley Marshall upon his death yesterday at the age of 91.I was not in Florida during his time as president of Florida State University from 1969 to 1976, nor during the founding of the James Madison Institute in the 1980s.I joined the Rotary Club of Tallahassee long after he served as its president in the early 1990s. When I met him, he was in his upper 80s, and his attendance at the club was affected by his health.It was only through a shared interest in Turkey that I got to know more about Dr. Marshall, and I share that story by way of offering an insight that few in Tallahassee knew about the man otherwise so well known locally. I learned that even as his body aged, his sharp mind was strong.In 2011, through the International Center for Journalists, the Tallahassee Democrat hosted visitors from Turkey and Armenia, Mehmet Fatih Öztarsu and Ofelya Kamavosyan. They spent a lot of time with me and at my home.Mehmet was a journalist with an unusual reputation; he was the only Turkish journalist living and reporting from the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. To understand the significance of that you would have to know the history of these two peoples, and that requires more space than a single blog allows. Suffice to say they are historic enemies and time has not healed the wounds centuries old.Dr. Marshall read about Mehmet in my blog and called on him for a visit. He took him under his wing, so to speak, offering advice and mentoring as Mehmet continues his education. They had several conversations, and Dr. Marshall would come by the newspaper to pick up the young man for a visit.I contacted Mehmet to inform him of Dr. Marshall’s death.”Oh, so sad to hear!” he wrote. “I was thinking to visit him again. God bless him and grant him salvation. Last week I was thinking about Mr. Marshall and our meeting. I am so lucky to have known him.”Mehmet is a second lieutenant in the Turkish army and hopes to return to the United States to continue his studies after completing his military obligation.He was just one of many young Turks influenced by Dr. Marshall, who had a special interest in Turkey having been the founder and director of the National Science High School. He knew many important leaders in Turkey and his influence in that country, a key strategic partner for the western nations, should not be reduced to a single line in an obituary.When I traveled to Turkey as part of the ICFJ program that brought Mehmet and Ofelya to Tallahassee, I was sitting at a luncheon hosted by the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. The university president leaned over to me and asked, “Do you know Stanley Marshall? His work here had a very big impact on science education and this university.”When I returned from Turkey, I told Dr. Marshall that story. He asked if I was serious about my interest in Turkey. If so, he said, he would like to come visit. He did, and we talked for a long time, including discussing the people we both knew and met and the direction of the Turkish government.This was important. Turkey’s position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia is of strategic importance. Upwards of 96 percent to 99 percent of the nation is Muslim, making Turkey an even more important friend to the United States in that region.Later, when I spoke about my travels to Turkey, Armenia and Pakistan to the Rotary Club, Dr. Marshall was in attendance, front and center, an educator wishing to keep learning until the very end of his days. Although I had privately briefed him on my travels to Turkey, I think he wanted to hear my perspective after visiting Pakistan, too.Dr. Marshall will be remembered as an educator with a strong world view and great tolerance for those with whom he disagreed. He should also be remembered as a man who put words into action and never stopped educating or mentoring, even to a young man with big ambitions living half a globe away.http://www.tallahassee.com/story/gabordi/2014/06/09/stanley-marshall/10221111/