For those who knew Marsha, no words come easily to mind to summarize a lifetime in genealogy, a lifetime spent in research and study but most importantly sharing her knowledge and techniques with others for more than thirty years with lectures, seminars, and writings that cover topics from adoption to the Ozarks. For professional genealogy she shared her knowledge and expertise since 1981 with the Board for Certification, Association of Professional Genealogists, and Genealogical Speakers Guild, as well as teaching about professional genealogy at various Institutes which had professional tracks.
Marsha Hoffman was born on 19 August 1945, in Kansas City, Missouri, and died on 17 February 2010, in Springfield, Missouri, after a long battle with cancer. Her husband of thirty-six years is Dean Rising.
The following are messages were received today by both Gary and Eileen from colleagues in the genealogical community & family.
Marsha died peacefully this morning at 6:30. She seemed "the same" when we went to sleep last night, so we were a bit surprised. It had been a week, though, since she had eaten, so we knew she didn't have long.
Her tombstone will have one of her favorite epitaphs:
"Remember man as you walk by,
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be;
So prepare for death and follow me."
Marsha had told me she did not want a funeral service, so to my knowledge, there won't be one. She said Dean would have an "open house" for their friends there.
The following is Marsha's obituary:
Marsha Hoffman Rising died peacefully in her bed on the seventeenth of February 2010 after a thirteen and a half year battle with ovarian cancer. She was born on the nineteenth of August, 1945 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Paul and Zella (Deschner) Hoffman.
Marsha graduated from Winter Haven, Florida, High school. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of South Florida and her MSW from Florida State University. She then taught for a year at Troy State University before being hired to become the first Director of the MSU undergraduate Social Work program. She guided that program though accreditation. In her early days in Springfield she was on the steering committee for the Child Advocacy Council and was the President of the local ACLU.
She then changed directions, left the University, and became a Certified Genealogist. In that capacity she became the President of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, a Fellow and President of the American Society of Genealogists, the Vice-President of the National Genealogical Society and a Trustee of both the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists. She published several books, the most popular of which was The Family Tree Problem Solver. She also published several genealogical references, the magnum opus being Opening the Ozarks: The First Families in Southwest Missouri.
In the time Marsha was given by the excellent surgery of Dr. Albert Bonebrake and experimental chemotherapy after her cancer diagnosis, she chose to become a traveler. She visited 7 continents, 42 countries and all 50 states.
She leaves to mourn her husband Dean, her sister Carol, and her step-daughter Amy and Amy’s husband Brian Brown, all of whom want to thank St. John’s Hospice for their care in the final days of Marsha’s illness.
Her body has been cremated and at her request there will be no service. There will be a visitation at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home Friday, February nineteenth, 7:00-9:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: FGS, 1812 Fund-Rising Tribute, P.O. Box 200940 Austin, TX 78720-0940.