HOUSTON, TEXAS — Marsha Nelson McGuire was born in Tennessee to Maggie and Garfield Nelson on September 30, 1919 and passed away on December 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Marsha held her own through 18 years of dementia and with her strong will, fought to the end.

Marsha grew up on a farm in Tennessee where her family raised pigs, cotton, watermelon and other crops. Her mother died when Marsha was very young. She helped raise her five brothers and sisters. She left home – before learning to drive a car -- to attend Nursing School in St. Louis, Missouri, becoming a Registerd Nurse in her early twenties.

She proudly served her country as a Nurse during World War II in the Women’s Army Corps. While attending a dance at the local VFW hall in Southern Illinois she met a young sailor who would become the love of her life, Joseph Amos McGuire. After a six- week whirlwind romance she and Joe married. Marsha and Joe enjoyed every day of their marriage for forty-four years until his death in 1991.

Joe worked for Schlumberger for forty of those years and their family moved frequently allowing them to make lifelong friends throughout Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Texas and finally settled in Houston in 1971. Joe and Marsha had two daughters while Marsha continued to work as a Registered Nurse. Marsha was one of the most caring and well qualified nurses in her field. She worked as a delivery room nurse, private duty nurse, an instructor at nursing school and as the nurse for the Houston Oilers’ Team Doctor, assisting in many of the players’ physicals.

In addition to her professional duties, Marsha was active at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and was also a very active Democrat. She was a fierce defender of equal rights, civil rights, human rights and women’s rights. She would always get involved in the local Democratic Party when her family moved to a new location. She organized Ohio for John F. Kennedy and participated in campaigns and Democratic clubs and organizations in every state she lived in. Marsha served as a Democratic Precinct Judge in Harris County, Texas, for many years. Marsha was always a gracious hostess and the life of any party she and Joe gave or attended. Although she was proud of her Native American heritage, she also enjoyed being Irish and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day every year in high fashion. She enjoyed socializing and was often noticed for her red-haired beauty—at her 80th birthday party, she made sure to mention that she was still a size 2. She also enjoyed dancing, bridge and sports — she was an Oilers (and ultimately Texans) season ticket holder and enjoyed attending the games with her former son-in-law and great friend, George Strong for many years, into her 80s.

Marsha is predeceased by her mother, Maggie Nelson, father Garfield Nelson, step-mother Lodi Nelson, sister Theda Storey, her brothers Jack Nelson, Chalbert Nelson and Raymond Nelson and her husband Joe McGuire. She is survived by her older daughter Margaret McGuire of New York City, New York and her younger daughter Pat Strong (David Donnelly) of Houston, Texas, and her sister Evelyn Hill of Texas City, Texas.

A funeral service and burial for Marsha will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at the Short Funeral home in Mount Carmel. Visitation for family and friends will be from noon until the hour of service on Wednesday. Burial immediately following the service at Highland Memorial Cemetery in Mount Carmel.

A Houston memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on January 6 at Earthman Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Harris County Democratic Party-Marsha McGuire Intern Scholarship, 1440 North Loop West, Suite 110, Houston, Texas 77008.

Condolences may be made online at www.short-cunninghamfh.com

Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve Marsha’s family.

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