Marcia J. Stahl

Marcia Jeanne Stahl was born on May 17, 1947, in Lansing, MI, to Lloyd and Jean Bennett. She died on December 29, 2021, at age 74, after 10 years of Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia.

Marcia graduated from Eastern High School in 1965; Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy in 1969; and MSU with a master’s degree in elementary administration in 1972.

Marcia is survived by her best friend Jan Denby and her Springer Spaniel Abby; her 3 beloved children: Julie (Jeff) Starn, Kevin (Israel) Stahl, and David (Kristin) Stahl; her 6 much-loved grandchildren: Nicholas Starn, Emily (Dylan) Starn, and Isabelle, Lily, Alex, and Fiona Stahl; her siblings, Connie (John) DeMarco and Scott (Deirdre) Bennett; niece, Hailey (Jeremy) Bennett; nephew, Ryan Bennett; Marcia’s BFF, Peggy Denby and “adopted” son Eric Denby; and special friends, Nancy and Sam Campbell, also mourn her loss.

Cousins are called your first best friends. Susan, Cheryl, and Linda Austin lived in Flint.  Marsh loved to visit them along with Aunt Sue and Uncle Al, and Bompa and Mimi, her paternal grandparents.  Susan and Marsh were almost the same age. For two months of the year, they were the same age, then Susan was a year older and Marsh wouldn’t let her forget it! Marcia and Susan were like sisters and shared that special bond for all these years.  All of you Austin girls can be sure that Marsh is giving Aunt Sue and Big Al special hugs from you!

Other special cousins were Marilyn and Nancy, from her mom’s side. She loved to hear from them and treasured the painting of Abby that Nancy gave us.

When we moved to Delta Township, we became acquainted with new neighbors that soon became friends.  Marsh loved our neighborhood and formed close friendships with Judy, Lois, Janet, Joy, Robbin and David.  We are forever blessed knowing all of you.

Now to the essence of Marcia, from her best friend’s perspective. Marcia was, of course, a complex human being as we all are. But the overriding principle she tried to live by was simplicity.  Regarding her faith, Marsh would say “It’s really pretty simple…it’s just not easy.” Marcia started walking with Jesus as a child at Mt. Hope Methodist Church.  She loved Sunday school, Bible study, and Junior Choir. Her spiritual path led her to South Church and Pastor Sugden—a man she respected and admired.  Then she went to Grace UM Church where she raised her children. There was a period of time that she did not attend formal church services, but she continued reading her Bible daily. She felt called to explore the Catholic faith at exactly the same time I was called to return to the Catholic Church. Totally independent calls, but of course, no coincidence. I was honored to be her sponsor and Marcia joyfully entered the Catholic Church at Easter 2005. Being a convert, Marsh was a devout Catholic. But one day she confided that even though she dearly loved the Church, “they sure know how to complicate things!” I had to agree. So we both tried to just see our faith for what it is at the core: God made us, God loves us, and God redeemed us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Follow Jesus with simplicity and sincerity, praise Him at Mass, and reverently receive His true Body and Blood regularly. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, in a nutshell. It really works and I am sure Marsh is at Jesus’ side right now, making Him laugh.

Marsh and I were blessed to start our Catholic journey at Immaculate Heart of Mary with Father John Byers, Leah Hinman, and Josephine and Ken Balcer at our sides, encouraging us. Later we moved to Delta Township and became members of St. Gerard where Father John Klein welcomed us. We have become very close friends with so many wonderful and loving people. I can’t name everyone, but some very special friends include Nancy, Mary L., Judy, Dorothy, Leah, LeAnn, Pam, Kathleen, Mike D, Mike G, Karla, Marie, and Tim, Marcia, Jan and Tom H, Ann, and Trish, Regina, Mary and Andy T, Irene, Bev and Ben…the list could go on forever. We are so thankful for all of you. You are all doing God’s work on earth.

You may know that Marsh and I loved to read. We had contests to see who could read the most books in a year. Do you know I won once in 36 years? And then Marsh accused me of cheating! She was not a gracious loser…  Speaking of winning and losing, we had weekly hearts games with Marcia’s mom and sister, Connie. Marsh won ¾ of the time; the remaining ¼ was shared by the rest of us. You’d think she would be happy for us, but no! She accused me of winning, only because I was the scorekeeper!

Marsh was a real sports fan. She bled green and white, except when MSU played CMU. Then it was “Fire Up Chips!” all the way! When MSU was out of the running, she was known to cheer for UM (after all, Kevin graduated from UM) and Notre Dame. “We have to support the Catholics, Jan!” and “I really like Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome!”

She was a proud alumni of the Tri Sig sorority and continued contact with Kathy, a sorority sister from her college days.

Marsh was a speech therapist for three years with the Maple Valley School District. She didn’t like traveling to each school and not having her own office or room. “I hated being in the furnace room, a closet, or a little section of the library.” She stopped teaching to start her family.

Her love for her three children was unending. She had fun with her kids and always respected their individuality. She enjoyed their different personalities and was always so proud of each of them. And later, there were no grandchildren as cute, sweet, smart, or creative as her grandchildren, EVER, bar none! Marsh always carried pictures of them and loved to show them to everyone.

When David was three, Marsh felt the desire to work part time. She started on the afternoon shift as the Unit Secretary at Ingham Medical’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit in 1979. Marcia fell in love with her work and gave it her all. By 1985, she was working full time on the afternoon shift as the Unit Coordinator in SICU. She loved the people, the excitement of never knowing what would happen, the interesting cases, and listening to doctors and nurses discuss treatments and therapies. She loved medical “stuff” but had no desire to become a nurse or doctor. The job as a UC was perfect, as she combined her love for everything medical and her love for office supplies! She had her own desk, pens, markers, stickers, computer, and the list goes on. She became the best UC that Ingham ever had and was nominated three times for employee of the year. In the mid- 80’s, she taught others how to do her job, while continuing to do the job herself. After a year or so, she realized she didn’t like working days to teach, since she was a night owl. So she returned to full time UC work in her beloved unit. Marsh retired in May 2009 and she missed her work until the day she heard they were getting a new computer system.  She smiled and sighed and said “At least I don’t have to deal with that!”

Marsh could never pass an office supply store without going in to drool over pens, planners, calendars, index cards and she collected boxes of them. She hated computers, but loved her cell phone.   Marsh loved to write letters and send cards, knowing the value of the written word.  She loved instant coffee, diet coke, babies, dogs and bargains! She was very frugal.

Marsh and I met at Ingham Medical and became the very best of friends, confidantes, and travel buddies. We became each other’s family. Marsh was gracious and shared her children and grandchildren with me, since I had none of my own. I loved it and am still grateful.

We traveled on 54 bus trips over 20 years. Marcia was adventurous and loved to learn. Some of our favorite trips were to Colorado, Las Vegas, the Pacific Northwest, anywhere in Canada—especially Nova Scotia, and Maine. And then Europe in 2000 to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany. We always wanted to return to England, Bavaria, Ireland, and Italy. Our big trips slowed as we aged—Parkinson’s issues for Marsh, and orthopedic issues for me. Then we made smaller trips to Lake Michigan, Shipshewana, Houghton Lake, Chicago, Petoskey, Ludington, and occasionally a big trip to Texas. We did what we could. And now Marsh is traveling the galaxy with the angels and is loving it!

You are invited to a memorial for Marcia which will be held in the summer of 2022. Details aren’t available yet, but if you are interested, please email me at jandenby55@gmail.com and I will email you with details, once plans are made.  Then we can talk forever about this very special, unique and wonderful person:  Marcia Stahl.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at St. Gerard Catholic Church, Lansing. Masks are required. The Rite of Committal will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Her family will receive relatives and friends from 4-8 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. Vigil Service on Wednesday, January 5 at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Masks are required at the funeral home.

To view a livestream of the service, please click here.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, Michigan Parkinson Foundation, or St. Gerard.

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27 Messages to “Marcia J. Stahl

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Pat (Adams) Valone
December 30, 2021 at 3:42 pm

God speed, dear friend and strength and peace to family and friends who will miss you greatly.

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Jan Denby
January 1, 2022 at 12:01 pm

Thank you, Pat. I am so happy for the fun we shared with Marcia over the past few years. You always made her smile! Jan

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Nancy Campbell
December 30, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Who could ask for a kinder or more gentle friend! We love you Marshy and will always remember the joy you brought to us all. I know Jesus loves you more than we ever could, and that you are with Him now.

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Jan Denby
January 1, 2022 at 12:19 pm

Thank you Nancy! You and Sam are angels!

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Jaye Murphy
December 31, 2021 at 8:33 pm

I was so privileged to work with Marcia in the ICU unit at Ingham/McLaren for many year. Having there made the nurses job so much easier. She was a good friend and found time to go to lunches with Jan and a crew of us. She will be missed but knowing she is whole and well at the feet of our Lord and Savior is comforting. I will see you again one day.

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Jan Denby
January 1, 2022 at 2:08 pm

Thanks, Jaye Dee. Marsh & I always enjoyed working with you. We had a great crew of coworkers & did really good work with our patients. We were always inspired with your deep faith. Marsh is in the best place now.

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Tami Schab
December 31, 2021 at 9:33 pm

A beautiful tribute for a beautiful woman. Keeping all who loved Marcia in prayer.

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Jan Denby
January 1, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Thanks dear Sr Tami, Marsh & I have always enjoyed your company. Marsh loved your laugh—especially joined with Joyce’s laugh! Some good times at Buddy’s!

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Linda Brown
December 31, 2021 at 10:09 pm

I met Marcia in the ICU at Ingham and was privileged to call her my friend over the years. I enjoyed our “snail mail” correspondence over recent years with her and Jan when I retired to California. Knowing that she found joy in simple things in life–her family & friends, travels with Jan, her church connections, Abby, her love of books and those beloved pens….it always brought me a smile . It is a comfort to believe that she is in the arms of our Lord and, once again, free of affliction. Rest in Peace, dear soul.

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Jan Denby
January 1, 2022 at 2:19 pm

Thank you Linda. We enjoyed our written correspondence & Facebook conversations, too. You are a good friend. Thank you for all your prayers & listening ear over the last couple of years.

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Jennifer Stimson
January 1, 2022 at 12:46 am

What a beautiful tribute to Marcia! We were next door neighbors on Greenlawn Street for 10 years. Marcia’s younger sister Connie and I, best friends!! The Bennett’s were an important part of my childhood and I’m forever grateful for all of them. Jan, I’ve never met you and yet I feel as though I know you. Thank you for being Marcia’s steadfast friend and caregiver ~ she was fortunate to be at home surrounded by love until the end of life on Earth. My love always, Jennifer Stimson

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Jan Denby
January 4, 2022 at 4:37 pm

Marcia always spoke so fondly of the Stimsons. She loved passing notes from the upstairs windows on a clothesline over the driveway!! Was that with you? Or with a sister?
I am glad we were able to care for her at home. She worried about going to a home. I saw her gratitude frequently.

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Doris Bayman
January 1, 2022 at 10:09 am

I have the comfort in our Savior that I will see her again. She will always hold a special place in my heart. Glad I could share a love of cross stitch with her. Every time I do a project with backstiching I think of her. She didn’t like to backstich. She had the most infectious smile.

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Jan Denby
January 4, 2022 at 4:40 pm

I love that!! Yes, she did hate backstitching! I am glad you mentioned that! She hunted through patterns until she found a particular designer that never used backstitching! She did have the best smile! Love you, Doris!

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Joyce Kransz
January 1, 2022 at 10:11 am

What a beautiful tribute Jan! I met both of you working at the hospital and we share several memories. How about “time to get out of the LazyBoy Marsh” or the laughs over the hearing aid? Marsh sure made our faith so simple, what a faith filled woman! Take Care Jan.

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Jan Denby
January 4, 2022 at 4:44 pm

That is so funny!! As we age it is harder & harder to get out of a lazyboy to go answer the phone. So Marsh told Joyce to just keep talking on the answering machine til she could get there! She always loved seeing you! One of her favorite trips was going to Nazareth to visit the Srs. of St Joseph. We laughed til our jaws ached! On the way home she told me she never knew sisters could be so much fun!!

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Jan Denby
January 1, 2022 at 11:59 am

In writing this obituary, I couldn’t include everything. But one thing I do want to say is that both Marcia & I could not have made this journey over the last six months without the help of Sparrow Home Hospice. The compassionate, loving presence & guidance of Miranda RN, Chimera NA, Allison Chaplain & Michelle MSW cannot be adequately expressed in words. They are worth their weight in gold. They are not just caregivers, they are family. I have heard many times that the only criticism of Hospice is that people don’t get them involved soon enough. Now I know that to be a fact & can vouch for that. If you are faced with a terminal or chronic illness situation, I urge you to contact them for an evaluation. Thank you to my dear Hospice friends from Marcia & me.

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Josephine Balcer
January 1, 2022 at 1:01 pm

What joy to experience your friendship and love dear Marcia. Whisper favors in Jesus’ ear for those of us left behind and special word in Jan’s favor. She loves you so much. I treasure our times together.

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Jan Denby
January 4, 2022 at 4:47 pm

We treasured you at work, and at church & then at our silent retreat in Wisconsin. Marsh thought I would have trouble being silent! Turns out she had the most trouble—especially at meals!! The ride home with you & Leah is a time we will always treasure!

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Julie Murray
January 2, 2022 at 5:40 pm

Thinking of you Jan as you navigate this big loss and pain in your life. I will continue to hold you close in my heart as I know how difficult this must be for you.

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Jan Denby
January 4, 2022 at 4:48 pm

Thank you, Julie. The hole in my heart will never be filled, but time will soften the edges.

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John DeRocher
January 3, 2022 at 4:31 pm

I’m sorry to hear about Marcia’s passing from Earth to now her Eternal Home with God and Jesus. I enjoyed taking Bible Study Classes with her for many years at St. Gerard’s Parish. My her soul Rest In Peace.

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Jan Denby
January 4, 2022 at 4:50 pm

Thank you, John. Marsh loved that Thursday night group. She loved hearing your stories about your plane & your Corvette!

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Diane O'Boyle
January 4, 2022 at 10:21 am

I didn’t know Marcia well, but her sweet smile was infectious and a window to her soul. I know that even though we know that the Angels have welcomed her to Paradise, and that she is fully mobile and clear in thinking and speech now, her passing has left you with a deep hole in your heart Jan. What a truly remarkable friend you have been! I have never read such a lovely tribute to someone. God bless you during this time.

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Jan Denby
January 4, 2022 at 4:53 pm

Thank you Diane. She was a great person & even greater friend. The hole is huge. I walked around & looked at all the things that will remind me of her. It’s painful now, but I know I will treasure them in the future! The bonds won’t break—they just change a bit. But thank you for your concern & prayers.

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Annette Macklin
January 5, 2022 at 3:18 am

Marcia was a wonderful gal and you both had a great life together. Keeping you in my thoughts Jan.

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Minnie
January 6, 2022 at 10:44 am

Jan- Beautifully written and lovingly read. Thank you for sharing your Marsh in such an eloquent way!

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