Marsha was born and raised in Baden, a neighborhood in north St. Louis. After graduating from Beaumont High School, she received her degree in nursing from the St. Luke’s School of Nursing on Delmar. She worked at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis and Milwaukee.
Marsha and her family moved to Germany during the late 1960’s as her husband was a doctor in the U.S. Army. They loved the stint there but were happy to live in St. Petersburg and Tarpon Springs, Florida for many years afterward, and enjoyed FLORIDA weather. She moved to the mountains of Georgia and currently lives in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
She loves to knit and quilt and has taught both skills in shops and is even teaching a 10 year old neighbor. She has given quilts and prayer shawls to veterans, church friends, family members, and many others, especially to those in need. As she knits or quilts she thinks of that person’s story as she works on hundreds and hundreds of items.
Yes, Marsha joined Mo-Tell as Perrin, her brother, twisted her arm. She has attended the Corn Island Storytelling Festival in Louisville and the Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and is a great listener. Her favorite storytelling experience was at a Mo-Tell workshop weekend in Cuivre River State Park. There she introduced Chuck Mellendorf (her fiancé) to the family. She enjoyed hearing tellers and most of all Lynn Rubright’s workshop on family stories. Everyone was encouraged to tell a story to the person on their left and tell a story they had not told. She and everyone loved Chuck’s story. And here it is!
“It was 1934, and I was 10 years old at the time. We were extremely poor and lived in Streator, Illinois. Life was tough, and new clothes were unheard of. We could not afford them.
"One day, I ran to the outhouse and was in there by myself. After finishing my business, I quickly jumped up from the seat and my two feet hit the floor hard. Hard enough to go right through the rotted boards and I landed knee-deep in .... you guessed it, the bottom! I screamed so loud that my mother ran into the outhouse, and at first she couldn’t find me. I was hanging onto the floor boards for dear life. She grabbed my hands and pulled me out of the muck. She said, ‘We are too poor to throw clothes away, but we are going to bury these!' And she did!"
Marsha still thanks Lynn Rubright for the family workshop and that memory of storytelling she will never forget, and she appreciates the opportunity to keep storytelling alive in the state of Missouri through MO-TELL.