Ann Kirk Marsh, age 94, of New Philadelphia, died early Friday, May 14, 2021, in Park Village Southside at New Philadelphia.
A daughter of the late Brenton S. Kirk, Sr. and Frances Janet (Fribley) Kirk, Ann was born in Dover on February 10, 1927.
Ann was a 1944 graduate of New Philadelphia High School and attended college at Denison University and The Ohio State University. While completing her degree during World War II, there was a teacher shortage and Ann was offered a position at Bolivar school to teach first grade. During the summer months from 1940 – 1946, under the leadership of Coach Paul Hoerneman, Ann worked at Tuscora Park as the first female girl’s playground instructor for summer camp.
On June 24, 1947, she married John “Jack” Marsh, Jr., the love of her life. Together the couple raised three sons and shared in 54 years of marriage prior to his passing on February 5, 2002.
Ann had a great love for swimming that began at age 12 and by the age of 18, she was working as an American Red Cross certified swim instructor at Tuscora Park. She continued swimming and teaching swim lessons at the Tuscarawas County YMCA until she was 88 years old. In addition, Ann, who has held a membership with the YMCA since 1952, served on the Board of Directors for six years and was the board’s first female president. She served on every committee throughout her tenured time with the YMCA.
Ann’s lifelong passion, aside from family and swimming, was art and painting. She started taking lessons in her teens and pursued this love throughout her lifetime. Her first teacher, Vernon Beddoes, began teaching her oil painting as a medium, and years later she studied watercolor painting with Chester Bratten of Chicago, Fred Graff of Medina, Don Getz of Boston Mills, Irving Shapiro of Chicago and Judi Betts of Baton Rouge. She was a member of the Canton Art Institute, Naples Art Center in Naples, Florida, The Ohio Watercolor Society, and she was part owner of the Artists Gallery in North Canton where she exhibited and sold her work. Because of her love of art, Ann was an instrumental part in forming the Tuscarawas County Center for the Arts. From 2001 – 2007, she served as a board member and from that same time until 2010, she served on the Educational Committee.
Her other civic activities included the Junior Clionian Society, serving on the T4C Board of Directors, and was head of the TWIG Program, now known as the Union Hospital Auxiliary of which she was a lifetime member. Additionally, Ann was a member of the Kent State Chestnut Society, was a past member of the Union County Club and the Atwood Yacht Club and served as an active parent in various New Philadelphia City Schools events while raising her three sons.
For many years, Ann’s faith was nurtured at the First United Church of Christ at New Philadelphia where she taught Sunday School for over 21 years, served on the Financial Board, Endowment Board, Christian Education Board and the Women’s Guild. In her later years, she returned to her childhood church, the First United Methodist Church at New Philadelphia, where she participated in adult small groups.
Ann is survived by her sons, John (Carol) Marsh, III of New Philadelphia, Joe Marsh of Florida and Brian (Pam) Marsh of New Philadelphia; five grandchildren, Andrew, Colby, Brian II, Nichole and Olivia and her great-grandson, Theo Jack Marsh.
Other survivors include a sister, Jane Jenkins of Colorado; a brother, Dave (Linda) Kirk of Texas and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, Ann was preceded in death by her brother and sister-in-law, Brenton S. “Kork” (Ellie) Kirk, Jr. and a brother-in-law, Charlie Jenkins.
A service celebrating Ann’s life will be led by Pastor Brian Flood on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 4 PM in the Geib Funeral Center at Dover where the family will greet guests during a reception immediately following from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. In keeping with her wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family service was held in the Evergreen Burial Park.
Memorial contributions in Ann’s name may be directed to the Tuscarawas County YMCA, 600 Monroe St, Dover, Ohio 44622 or to the Tuscarawas Center for the Arts, 461 Robinson Drive SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663.