Longtime Madison broadcaster and restaurant owner dies at 74 - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Longtime Madison broadcaster and restaurant owner dies at 74

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MADISON (WKOW)-- Longtime Madison broadcaster and restaurant owner Marshall "Marsh" Shapiro died Wednesday morning after a long battle with brain cancer. Many are honoring the former WKOW host and sports director with stories and tales about his many accomplishments.

"Anything the guy did he did with enthusiasm that just engulfed everybody and made everybody feel at home," says longtime friend and co-worker Harold Heidtke.

From capturing the imaginations of thousands of children as "Marshall the Marshall," to helping countless charities in the community, Shapiro knew everyone

A man who spent years entertaining the community he loved hosting a popular kids show and anchoring local sports for more than 20 years.

"To me it's a labor of love my sportscasting and my involvement with sports and what I do on television," Shapiro says during an archived video of him receiving a community award.

"People are referring to him as a Madison icon and I don't think it does him justice. I think he was Madison. To me he was," former WKOW News Director and longtime friend Paul Pitas says.

After a successful career in broadcasting Shapiro turned his focus to his life's second passion, his family and the popular neighborhood restaurant Nitty Gritty. A restaurant commonly referred to as Madison's place to celebrate birthdays.

"Tonight I'll probably hoist my Nitty Gritty birthday mug to him," says Heidtke.

Despite these accomplishments those that know him best remember a man that simply loved life. Everywhere he went leaving a smile on people's faces. Sharing his joy of living with every customer, every colleague, family member and friend, his beautiful life touched.

"He was a great father, great husband, great all around guy. You just couldn't beat him for a friend," Heidtke says. "The man's going to be thoroughly missed."

Shapiro died after battling brain cancer for two years. His funeral service will be held at Temple Beth El 10 a.m Friday morning.

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