Gwendolyn "Wendy" Bush O'Brien MarshOctober 15, 1937 ~ July 25, 2017 (age 79)
Gwendolyn (Wendy) Bush O’Brien Marsh
Funeral mass will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, July 28, 2017 at St. Mary Catholic Cathedral with The Most Reverend Patrick J. Zurek, Bishop of Amarillo as celebrant and Rev. Scott Raef, The Rector of St. Mary Cathedral and Rev. Jim Schmitmeyer, Pastor of St. Hyacinth as concelebrants. Private family burial will be in Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home, S. Georgia St., Amarillo, Texas 79110.
Wendy Marsh died of natural causes July 25, 2017.
She was born October 15, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois to Frank T. O’Brien and Emeline Bush O’Brien.
She moved to Amarillo as a small child with her family and attended Amarillo public schools and Garrison Forest School in Maryland. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Smith College in Massachusetts and studied in Paris and Italy her junior year. She earned a Master’s in Education Degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
During college, she worked one summer for Louise Evans, Editor of the Amarillo Globe News.
After college, she worked for Senator John Tower in Washington, DC. In London, England, she worked for William Yates, a member of British Parliament, and for Bache and Company. She returned to Texas to Study Law at The University of Texas in 1964 and graduated one of 5 women in the class of 500 students.
She was a member of Kappa Beta Pi, the National Honorary Legal Sorority. While earning her degree in 1967, she became the first female editor and cartoonist of the Texas Law Forum, the Law School Newspaper. She passed the Bar Examination in 1967. She was a member of the American Bar Association and the Texas Bar Association.
On April 22, 1967, she married Stanley Marsh 3. They had been friends since childhood and he was the love of her life, bringing intelligence, excitement and humor to their every experience.
She is survived by five wonderful children:-- Stanley Marsh IV, Elizabeth Marsh Davidson both of Amarillo, Mary Kathrine Marsh of Denver, Colorado, Timothy O’Brien Marsh of Wellington, Florida and William H. Bush Marsh of Durango, Colorado. She loved her children, their spouses and 10 grandchildren.
She loved living and entertaining friends and family in the remodeled home that her Grandfather built in 1912 as headquarters for the Frying Pan Ranch. Although she only worked for a short time as an Attorney, she has been involved in civic, educational and cultural activities in Amarillo for her entire life. She was appointed by several Governors to several state-wide committees, most recently the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Wendy was the co-owner and trustee of Frying Pan Farm Ranch properties which she inherited from her Grandfather, Pioneer William Henry Bush.
From 1984 to 1986, she owned the Sylvan Learning Center, a private tutoring business. She was a part-time political science professor at West Texas A&M University as well as a substitute teacher in the AISD.
Since 1980, she has served as Honorary French Consul for Amarillo and was a member of the Texas Philosophical Society.
In 1980, she was elected to the Board of Regents of the Amarillo Community College District and re-elected in 1986. She served as chairman of the board and chaired several standing committees during her tenure. While on the board of regents, she was honored by the Golden Nail for starting the Amarillo Art Force, a support group for the Fine Arts and Humanities at Amarillo College.
She served nationally on the Board of the Association of Community College Trustees.
In Texas, she served on the Boards of Texas Human Relations Committee, Environmental Defense Fund, Southwest Organ Bank, Texas Arts Alliance, Texas Humanities Committee and most recently on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Locally, she served on the boards of the United Fund, the Junior League, Catholic Family Services, Harrington Cancer Center, the Amarillo Art Museum, Amarillo Art Force, Amarillo Area Foundation, Amarillo College Foundation, WTAMU Foundation and St. Hyacinth’s Church Board.
Besides working as a civic worker, she was a strong proponent of education, a social activist and philanthropist. She enjoyed tutoring at every grade level in the Amarillo Independent School District for the HOSTS program and America’s Promise.
Marsh received the Women’s Forum distinguished service award in 1988 and a year later, the Amarillo Junior League’s Outstanding Sustaining Member award; she was named 1992 Amarillo Globe News Woman of the Year and Catholic Family Service Volunteer of the Year. In 2000, she was named one of 100 History Makers of the High Plains. She was also honored by Beta Sigma Phi as Woman of the Year in 1993. She was honored by the Girl Scouts in 2011 with their Lifetime Women of Distinction Award.
With her family, she donated land for the Amarillo Medical Center, St. Hyacinth’s and St. Peters Churches in the West Hills area of Amarillo, Ascension Academy on Soncy as well as several parks in Amarillo.
She and her husband established a scholarship fund for minorities at WTAMU and an endowment for a lectureship at the Texas Tech School of Pharmacy, Amarillo Area Foundation as well as the Professorship