Sunday, December 21, 2014



(July 28, 1935 to Feb. 3, 2014)


A funeral mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ottawa, Kan., 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014.

Friends may pay their respects to Mrs. Marstall at Dengel & Son Mortuary, Ottawa, after 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. A rosary will be said at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by family and friends visitation at 7 p.m. Interment is set for Highland Cemetery, Ottawa.

After a memorable life in which she profoundly touched so many other lives, she died surrounded by family, having shown us all how to be strong, tenacious, smart, humble, thankful and happy. She had a unique and humorous view of life that was forged from her upbringing and burnished by all the experiences and people who profoundly touched her. Her legacy is all of us who were fortunate enough to learn from her. This is our last love letter to her:

Dear Mom,

You’ve been bugging me to do this for a while so here goes. Don’t know what the rush is.

I used to love those stories that began “Mary, Dolores and I” because you always knew it was going to be about some adventure with your two older sisters. Of course, little sister Aunt Joan was sure to be one to foil to your plots. Then came Uncle John and Uncle Roy, who fell prey to their older sisters who would smother them in kisses with their freshly applied lipstick. You said they were just adorable. Then came baby sisters Florence and Therese who idolized you guys. I always thought of them as my older sisters and learned to dance the twist in the ’60s when they were teenagers. And then there was Mike who was so proud to be promoted to uncle when he was only three. Finally, although it broke your heart the way it happened, there was youngest brother Eddy, adopted in infancy when your beloved sister Mary Agnes died tragically.

You and Dad (George L. Marstall) built a life in Ottawa, Kan., where you raised all five of us. You moved there only a few days before President Kennedy was assassinated. My most vivid memory of that time was watching you cry and not really understanding it. But you also taught us how to laugh. Recently, you were joking with the ER personnel and flirting with the doctors. Without fail, you would introduce me to them as “my daughter Dr. Schultz” leaving me to explain that it was “only a Ph.D.” [You told me you would haunt me if I didn’t put this in.] You put a smile on everyone’s face, even when they knew things were very serious.

You are my hero. You always rose to the challenge whatever it was. One time, I had a car problem so you checked out a book at the library and re-wired my car. You are just AWESOME. You figured out how to run a successful business, run a home, and be a mom, big sister, wonderful grandmother to 14 and great-grandmother to two. You taught us to reach for the stars. You also taught us to rely on ourselves.

You were passionate about your sewing, forming a sewing guild and running a quilting business after you retired from the other business. Friends at Atria will always know you as Grandma the “Bookie” because you gave away dozens of cloth children’s books that you loved to sew together.

Your parents (Roy and Margaret Mary Hamil) died long ago, but you taught us to honor them by taking tender care of them in their twilight years. It is a lesson that I took to heart. It has been my privilege to be your assistant these past few years with the unfailing help of all of my brothers and sisters. I just wish it could last a little longer.

So here’s to you, Mom. See you soon. Say hi to Dad for us. Love you always,


— Peg (Gene) Schultz, Mary (John) Ekeler, Larry Marstall, Steve Marstall (Rebecca Hyde) and Patricia (Michael) Hunninghake


The family suggests memorial contributions to Sacred Heart Church or Midland Hospice through Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory St., Ottawa KS 66067.

An online guest book is available at

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