Well known Dunedin car dealer, businessman and philanthropist, Graeme Marsh, sadly died last week at the age of 89.
Marsh was born and raised in Dunedin where his career started in chartered accountancy. It then translated into business management where he founded the car dealership Marsh Motors on Crawford Street before he purchased Zephyr Caravans.
In 1963, his late brother Eric acquired the Cooke Howlison dealership in Dunedin which Graeme managed leading to the business’ growth.
The dealership then acquired Blackwell Motors Holden in Christchurch in 1979 and a year later, it opened the largest specialist truck workshop in Dunedin.
Graeme’s son John Marsh, now runs the Cooke Howlison dealership as part of the Marsh family owned Oakwood Motor Group which now has 13 dealerships across Otago and Canterbury and employ over 300 staff.
Graeme Marsh also explored other businesses during his career including various engineering and technology companies.
Marsh also served as the national president of the Motor Trade Association, president of the Otago branch of the New Zealand Society of Accountants, and he was a member of the Australia and New Zealand Business Council and the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Council.
He was awarded a CBE for services to export and the community in 1995 and became the first Honorary Doctor of Commerce from the University of Otago in 2014.
Marsh’s business successes also resulted in him becoming a recognised member of the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.
Graeme passed away on June 8, leaving behind his wife Eunice, their four children, nine grandchildren and five great grand-children.