Hugh E. Marsh
01/05/1920 – 02/21/2010
Hugh believed everyone’s story was important. Hugh’s story began in Detroit, MI, January 5, 1920, but unfolded at Monmouth, IL when his parents E Gordon and Alys (Gabby) Marsh moved back to their home town. Hugh attended Monmouth public schools and enrolled at Monmouth College.
Being analytical, Hugh majored in chemistry. Hearing a Youth Conference speaker, he felt called to ministry. On a college hayrack ride, sitting by a red-haired girl, Joanne Maxwell, a spark was lit. It became a flame leading to a wedding Christmas Day, 1944, in Nashville, IL. The flame lasted for 65 years, and is still burning.
His seminary training was at Pittsburgh Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pa. Due to WW II, he graduated early, in January, 1945 and began their first pastorate at Clinton UP Church, PA.
Hearts in the Midwest, in 1948, they loaded 2 yr old David and six week old Danny heading to Mission Creek UP Church, NE. Loving this farming community, Hugh become farmer enough to have a milk cow. Two children were born there, baby John, living only 11 days, and daughter Martha.
His Kansas pastorates were: Garnett, Kingman, and three churches in Wichita. After a year as Developer/Administrator of Presbyterian Manor, Arkansas City, he began Interim Ministry, a deeply rewarding period. Interim pastorates were Derby; Sunrise Presbyterian, Salina; Emporia First Presbyterian; and Abilene Presbyterian.
They retired in Salina, planning summers at their cabin in La Veta, CO. Instead they moved, and Hugh served 10 years at La Veta Methodist Church. They returned to family in Lindsborg in 2001, giving them time with son David before his death in 2002.
Hugh’s motto was: “Leave your world for those who follow, as good or as better than you found it.” He lived by that motto—fixing, renovating and building, including helping youngest son, Paul, build his straw bale house. Furthermore, he was active in civic organizations and community affairs, and became a strong supporter of Land Institute, Salina. He and Joanne dreamed into existence a Peace Garden at Trinity Methodist Church.
Hugh was a humble, down to earth man, with a great smile. He accepted himself the way he was, warts and all. He accepted others the same way – a great believer that we all were one body, all God’s children.
Diagnosed with leukemia in April 2009, they were given the gift of another 9 ½ months, celebrating 65th anniversary, 90th birthday, and a special Valentine’s Day. Joanne and family were with him when he died at home, Sunday, Feb 21, 2010.
Sons John and David precede him in death. Surviving are wife, Joanne; son, Daniel, Wichita; daughter, Martha Roberts (Ralph), Lindsborg; Paul (Jill) of Riverdale; daughter-in-law Carolyn Marsh, Arlington; brother Edgar Marsh (Marie), Washington, IL; nine grandchildren, three step- grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.