Thursday, February 8 saw a peaceful conclusion to a life fully-lived in Margie Lee Marsh, 92, of Durham, North Carolina. Her final days at Hillcrest Convalescent Center served as an opportunity for her family to gather around her and do the things she spent her life teaching them how to do as they laughed, prayed and sang together.
Margie Lee Marsh was born November 30, 1925 in Washington, DC, the only child of Jesse Morris and Annie Mason. The apple of many adult eyes, Margie grew up happy and adored. In that childhood was cemented a lifelong bond with her father. Margie’s own children remember Grandaddy Jesse’s presence in their home and lives throughout their upbringing.
On July 4, 1940, Margie met Frank William (Bill) Marsh at a Fourth of July dance that she had agreed to attend with Bill’s younger brother, Jimmy. When Bill drove them home that evening, he told Jimmy to walk her to her door and to, “Go ahead and kiss her goodnight, because I’m gonna marry her.”
And so it was. The pair married on September 26, 1942 and remained married for 62 years until Bill’s passing in 2004. Their marriage endured long periods of separation as Bill served heroically during World War II in the U.S. Navy.
Under Margie’s guidance, the Marsh family’s prayers were often songs and their songs were always prayers. Dotingly and with occasional loving firmness, she taught her children to love God, music and each other.
She was a devoted member and choral director at Baptist Temple Church in her longtime home of Alexandria, Virginia and over recent years enjoyed participating in church life at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Hillsborough where she was beloved as a motherly figure, musical visionary and frequent poet.
Margie is survived by her son and three daughters: William Randolph Marsh and his wife, Carolyn of Sanford, NC; Carol Marsh Krzyzewski and her husband, Michael of Durham; Cathy Marsh Munro and her husband, Kirk of Fredericksburg, VA; and Donna Marsh Borman and her husband, Fred of Big Horn, MT. Margie’s love also blessed the lives of 9 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Margie never met a stranger; she never forgot a birthday; her clothing and jewelry never clashed; and she never, ever quit on anything or anyone. She always carried a song in her heart; she always put her family’s needs before her own; her cooking was always the highlight of any gathering; and she always knew the right thing to say to make another person feel valued.
Margie’s family will remember the subtle sound of Nana’s long, manicured fingernails lightly striking the keys of the piano and the shake of her bangle bracelets that served as percussion on top of the glorious music her fingers effortlessly produced with the keys. They will continue to be certain of the fates of both the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat. They will constantly strive to replicate her recipes which never seemed to require measuring cups or spoons when Nana masterfully put them together. And they will know for the rest of each of their lives that Nana loved them in the special, wholehearted way that only she could – “a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”
Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Monday from Ebenezer Baptist Church, 1210 Pleasant Green Rd., Hillsborough. Friends may visit 3-5 PM Sunday at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Private burial will be in Falls Church, VA. Contributions in Margie’s memory may be made to the Emily K Center in Durham, (www.emilyk.org).