Fern Marsh, longtime educator, accomplished musician and Iola civic contributor passed away Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Windsor Place Nursing Center in Iola, Kan., after a yearlong bout with cancer.
Miss Marsh was born Dec. 30, 1921, in a farmhouse just outside the city limits of Kincaid, Kan., to George and Verle (Hummiston) Marsh.
She is survived by two sisters, Elaine Miles of Pittsburg, Kan., and Nadine Sutton of Mesa, Ariz., and a brother, Marion Marsh and Nell, also of Mesa, Ariz. She is also survived by seven nieces and one nephew. They are Janis Saket and Curt, Pittsburg, Kan., Diane Shaw and Mike, Lowell, Kan., Loretta Ellis and Rex and Marilyn Sharp and Don, Iola, Kan., Nancy Sutton, Arkansas City, Kan., Fred Marsh and Chris, Fort Wayne, Ind., Jean Ann Marsh, Mesa, Ariz., and Sarah Colvin and Richard of Keller, Texas. Numerous great- nephews and nieces and their families complete her family survivors.
Miss Marsh’s public teaching career spanned 47 years, beginning in Hepler’s Star of Hope school and including classrooms in Bronson, Kincaid, Elmdale, Horton, Ellsworth, Pittsburg and Iola, Kan., schools. She retired in 1988. Miss Marsh also taught piano and string lessons privately in her home studio.
Fern Marsh served as choir director and organist for First Presbyterian Church in Iola, Kan., for many years and only recently resigned that post due to ill health. She was also a longtime member of the Iola Area Symphony Orchestra as well as the Iola Community Band. The community will also remember her as an extremely active member of Iola Community Theatre. Miss Marsh was very involved with the annual “Little Oscars” awards presentations, lending her unique expertise as both accompanist and musical advisor.
Throughout her life she was a much sought-after vocal soloist and keyboard artist, performing at numerous weddings and funerals as well as countless community and church musical offerings.
She held memberships in the National Education Association (life member), Music Educators National Conference, Kansas Music Educators Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, Allen County Retired School Personnel (life member), Iola Area Symphony Orchestra, Friends of the Bowlus and Iola Community Theatre.
A celebration of Fern Marsh’s life will begin at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 22, 2010, at First Presbyterian Church in Iola.
A time of cookies, coffee and fellowship will follow the service at which time the family will receive friends.
It is suggested that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of the following organizations in her name: Iola First Presbyterian Church, Fern Marsh Music Scholarship Fund, Iola Area Symphony Orchestra, Friends of the Bowlus or Iola Community Theatre.
Memorial gifts may be left at Waugh-Yokum & Friskel Memorial Chapels of Iola, which is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences for the family may be left on this Web site, www.iolafuneral.com.
— PAID OBITUARY —