PORTLAND- Regina Alice Marsh (Jeanie) passed away on Saturday, Aug.1 at Maine Medical Center following a period of declining health.
Throughout her 95 years, Regina was a force to be reckoned with. Tiny in stature but immense in spirit, her curiosity, determination, grit, wonder, joy, and energy were boundless. Over the years she encountered many obstacles, such as the loss of her husband at the age of 40, two cancer surgeries, loss of eyesight from Macular Degeneration, and a fall that resulted in 9 broken ribs, but she never gave up, and with every “trouble”, her spirit just got stronger. Unfortunately, in the past year her spirit and body weren’t communicating and her body just gave up, without permission.
Regina was born in Brooklyn, NY on February 16, 1925, the sixth of seven children. Her parents, Lillian and James McLaughlin, had their hands full with so many children, so her older siblings played a big role in raising her. Jeanie never learned to ride a bike, but she could run and roller skate like the wind. Her older brother, Joe, purportedly amassed a small fortune collecting bets on her wins, which made her immensely proud. Regina attended local parochial schools and graduated from St. Francis Xavier’s Academy in 1943. She then went on to pursue a career in nursing. In 1945 she married Frank Marsh. The family traveled often for Frank’s job as a merchant marine, living in New York, North Carolina, Maine, Ohio, and Michigan. After her husband’s death in 1965, Jeanie returned to Maine and began the next chapter of her life as a widowed single parent of five children. Her siblings helped immensely during this time, supporting her every step of the way. She returned to college to complete her nursing degree, and in 1977, at the age of 52, graduated from the University of Maine Portland-Gorham with a BS in nursing. Jeanie went on to be a public health nurse for the City of Portland, retiring in 1995. While working for the city, she developed a strong connection with many of her patients, and even years after her retirement, people would stop her on the street, give her a hug, and tell her how much they had appreciated her visits. Following retirement, Jeanie became an exceptional perennial gardener, read countless mystery novels, took many USM Osher Institute classes, learned to play the fiddle, practiced tai chi, swam laps, traveled the country with her sisters and children, and made beautiful memories with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She remained sharp as a tack until her last breath, and she will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her quick wit, generous spirit, jaunty style, and strong will.
Regina is survived by her five children- Priscilla Vandermast, Susan Marsh, Brian Marsh, Jim Marsh (wife Nina), and Tim Marsh (wife Amy); her grandchildren- Sarah Vandermast (husband Jeff Hovermill), Will Vandermast (wife Diana), Katie Vandermast (partner Nick Gainer), Abigail Marsh, and Emily Marsh; great grandchildren Eamon, Elsa, and Vigo Vandermast and Leonard Vandermast; her sister, Marjorie Keeley and her sister-in-law Jean McLaughlin: and a multitude of nieces, nephews and friends. In addition to her parents and husband, she is predeceased by her brothers Joseph and Richard Mclaughlin, and sisters Kathryn Hornby, Marie McLaughlin and Winifred DesFosses.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the The Iris Network, 189 Park Avenue
Portland, ME 04102 www.theiris.org They provided Talking Books for Regina after she lost her eyesight.
Funeral arrangements by Wilson Funeral Home Gray, Maine www.wilsonfhllc.com
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