Marvin Best, 73, a retired D.C. Corrections Department official at Lorton who later was a justice of the peace and celebrant of marriages in Prince William County, died Sunday at the Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge.
Mr. Best joined the staff at Lorton in 1928 and was a supervisor in the industrial shop's tag plant, where license plates and road signs are made, at the time he retired in 1956.
hat same year, he became the first captain of the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton volunteer rescue squad (OWL), and became a justice of the peace for the Occoquan magistrial district in Prince William County. He retired as justice of the peace about five years ago but remained a celebrant of marriages until the time of his death.
Mr. Best came briefly to public attention in 1976 when he was sued by an interracial couple who charged that he had refused to marry them because of their race. Mr. Best denied that race was an issue and said that the couple had been turned away because they had made no appointment. A settlement was made in the case calling for the payment of $2,000. The couple originally had asked for $35,000.
Mr. Best was a charter member of the Woodbridge Kiwanis Club and was its secretary for many years. He belonged to the Masons for more than 50 years, and was a life-long member of the Round Hill Methodist Church, in his native Round Hill, Va.
He is survived by his wife, Pearl S., of the home in Occoquan; a son, William Sr., of Woodbridge; a sister, Ruth Topping of Richmond; a brother, Clifton, of Purcellville, Va.