MISSOULA — Ruth E. Marshall, 91 of Missoula, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, of natural causes at the Beehive Homes.
She was born Nov. 29, 1925, in Butte to Alvin and Ellen Officer. The family moved to Livingston soon after and she spent many years in Livingston. As a young girl, she spent her summers at her uncles’ ranches in the Crazy Mountains playing with her many cousins. In high school, she was a member of the choral groups and pep club. Her favorite subject was literature as evidenced by her lifelong love of reading. She was also very active in the Methodist Church. Ruth enjoyed visiting her grandparents at Hunter Hot Springs. Ruth graduated from Park County High School in 1943 and went to Great Falls to pursue nursing during World War II. She graduated in 1945 from the Deaconess School of Nursing, Great Falls unit.
Ruth met the love of her life, James J. Marshall of Columbus, while working as a nurse at the Student Health Service at Montana State University in Bozeman. Jim was recuperating from injuries sustained while serving in the Army in Europe during World War II and attending MSU on the GI bill.
They were married March 15, 1947, in Livingston. Ruth and Jim were married 67 years. Ruth’s advice to couples for a long married life was to “kiss a lot.” Jim preceded Ruth in death in 2014 and she missed him every day.
While Jim was attending MSU, their three children, Vicki, Leann and James were born.
To follow Jim’s career, they lived in Billings, Great Falls and ultimately settled in Missoula in 1958. Busy raising three children, Ruth volunteered at the school library, which she says was her way of keeping an eye on her kids. She was a Girl Scout leader for several years and instrumental in establishing the Shining Mountain Council of Girl Scouts in Montana.
In 1960, Ruth and Jim bought lakeshore property on the new Noxon Rapids Reservoir at Trout Creek with their lifelong friends, Jack and Pat Roemer. This became a family summer haven that exists to this day. Ruth and Jim founded the Noxon Cabinet Lakeshore Coalition to protect this beautiful area and continued to participate until their deaths.
Ruth enjoyed traveling with her husband to faraway places and throughout the United States to visit their many family and friends. She enjoyed golfing with her husband and their friends, Don and Jeannine Pettit. She loved music and dancing. She especially enjoyed being with her grandchildren, watching their many sporting events, counseling them on life and loving them with all her heart. Ruth was known for speaking her mind and engaging in conversations with family and friends. She was a loving and caring woman with a beautiful smile. Her friends at the Beehive were dear to her and she will be greatly missed by all her Trout Creek Cabin Family at Camp Gitchadirty.
Survivors include; two daughters and one son, Vicki Marshall Cocchiarella, Missoula, Leann Johnson, (Kent) of Trout Creek, and James Marshall, (Jackie), of Fallbrook, California. Her grandchildren are Cara Cocchiarella of Portland, Oregon, Michael Cocchiarella, (Mindy) of Las Vegas, Nevada, Abby Johnson of Billings, Lexi Marshall of Phoenix and Tyler Marshall of Phoenix. Her great grandchildren are Gracie Johnson, Tripp O’Conner and Chase O’Conner of Billings.
Ruth’s life will be celebrated this Friday, Dec. 1, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Downtown, 200 S. Pattee St., Missoula. Ruth will be interned with Jim at the Veteran’s Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers you may make contributions to Books for the Blind, 1515 E. Sixth Ave., Helena, MT 59620 or Missoula Veteran’s Cemetery, 1911 Tower St., Missoula, MT 59804 or a charity of your choice.