Friday, March 08, 1996

Obituary: William Marsh

MADISON - William Frederick Marsh, 87, died on Thursday, March 7, 1996 at Elder Haus, 5565 Burke Road, Madison, after an extended illness. Bill was born on August 11, 1908 in the Methodist parsonage at Downing, Wisconsin, to Reverend William E. and Evva (Gillette) Marsh. He is survived by his wide of 60 years, the former Louise Dollison, whom he married on June 23, 1935 at Wesley Foundation, the Methodist Student Center at the UW-Madison where they had met. For the past year and a half they have lived at the Methodist Retirement Center, 110 S. Henry Street, Madison. He is further survived by his loving children, William Marsh, Jr. (Nancy), El Paso, Texas; David Marsh (Maryalice), Studio City, California; Roger Marsh, Chicago; and Carol (Rich) Walker, Madison. Bill adored his grandchildren and great grandchildren, Todd (Vicki) Marsh and their children, Anthony Self and Samuel Marsh, Arlington, Texas; Kevin (Lori) Marsh and their children, Maggie and William Marsh, La Porte, Texas; Myranda Marsh (Colin Quint), La Crescenta, California; Celinda Marsh (Fiancee Thomas Kelsey), Austin, Texas; Julia Marsh, Galesburg, Illinois; and Daniel Marsh, Chicago, Illinois. The 60th wedding anniversary weekend at the cottage last June was a glorious family reunion with all 22 family members present. Other survivors are a sister, Maude Melgaard, Portland, Oregon; three sisters-in-law, many cousins, nieces and nephews; and special friends and cottage co-owners Phil and Jean Myers. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Louise; four brothers, Bernard, Earl, Waldo and Herbert; and a sister, Jane Torpey. He grew up in Stevens Point and graduated from Central State Teachers College (now UW-Stevens Point) in 1929 and lettered in football, basketball and track. He received his Master of Philosophy degree from UW-Madison in 1934. He taught social studies at Friendship and Neenah before coming to Central High School in Madison in 1937. The next 32 years in that building were happily spent as classroom teacher, assistant principal, and principal. After Central closed in 1969, Bill spent two years as principal of West Junior High. When that school also closed, he spent the last two years of his long educational career as a grade principal at West High. During 27 years of these active professional years, Bill also served as Executive Secretary of the Southern Wisconsin Education Association. Bill was a member of First United Methodist Church, Madison Area Retired Educators Association, Wisconsin National Guard, Downtown Kiwanis, Odana Golf and Bowling Bunch, and the PTA. The Four Lakes Council of Boy Scouts of America gave him the Silver Beaver award for 25 years of volunteer service as cubmaster, scoutmaster, summer program director, and counselor at Camp Tichora, and vice president of the council. For 17 years was president of Madison Neighborhood Centers board. He was featured in "Know Your Madisonian" and received the 1949 Father of the Year award from the Madison Chamber of Commerce. Bill loved the out of doors and vigorously participate in a wide variety of sports. He was a superb horseman and put himself through college teaching riding. He especially treasured his time at the Marquette County cottage on Pine Lake where he water skiied until age 73. He has discovered the beauty of that lake in 1948 when he served the fist of nine years as summer manger of Pine Lake United Methodist Camp. He served his church in many local activities, as Lay Member of the Annual Conference, and president of the conference Board of Trustees. As a lay preacher he served the People’s United Methodist Church in Oregon, Wisconsin for one year. Bill was an avid traveler and camper with his family all over the North American continent and journeyed to Europe and Australia. While in Mexico, he was appalled by the rural poverty and wonder how he could help. He later founded Leaf Nutrient, Inc., which utilized the know-how of UW agricultural research methods to help Mexican families feed nutritious alfalfa products to their hungry children. Kiwanis International honored his humanitarian project with two monetary grants. The family wishes to express its deep gratitude to many persons and agencies for compassion during many difficult months. This includes First United Methodist Church, Methodist Retirement Center and Health Center, Meritor-Park Hospital, Dr. Kim Petersen, Dr. Robert Bonebrake, the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Day Care at Dale Heights Presbyterian Church, Metro Ride, Hospice Care, and especially the caring staff and residents of Elder Haus. We will never forget you, Amy, Ann, Jackie, Kathy, Marcy, Maggie, Sheila and Tammy. The memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 9, 1996 at 10:oo a.m. at FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 203 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison. Reverend Joan Deming will officiate. The cremains will be interred at a late date in the three generation family plot at Forest Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church elevator fund - a project dear to Bill’s heart for he had a special sympathy for any handicapped person.