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Marthann Bush Markle
April 13, 1940 - September 09, 2018
Marthann is survived by her only daughter, Melissa Markle Webster and her husband, Jim Webster of Central City, Ill. She has three grandchildren, Kayla Dunahee and her husband Darren of Centralia, Ill.; Ian Thompson, of South Bend, Ind., and Madeline Webster, of Bloomington, Ind.; and three great-grandchildren, Julian Collings, Kaleigh and Kairyn Dunahee. She is also survived by her brother, John Bush and his wife Kay of Winter Springs, Fla.; and her sister-in-law, the Rev. Ann Markle, of Buffalo, N.Y. She has several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. Finally, she is survived by a dear friend and caregiver in the last year of her life, Laci Sligar.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; and a niece, Eleanor Ford.
Marthann was a retired university educator, beginning her career at Indiana State University in 1963, and leaving in 1965 with her pregnancy of her only daughter. She returned at the request of the university in 1966 and often said it was one of the best phone calls she ever received in her life.
Marthann invested her entire career as an educator. She opened her own dance and baton studio in 1955 as a 15 year-old sophomore at Marshall High School on her parent's front porch. Many young dancers were trained at her studios. While it went on hiatus while she finished her bachelor's and master's degrees in Physical Education at Indiana State University, she opened it again in the late 60s and continued to educate dancers until the late 70s. She also founded the high school dance team, the Marshallettes, which perform still today.
This was good practice, because in 1959 Marthann founded the Sparkette Dance and Drill Team during her sophomore year at Indiana State University. She directed the team with the assistance of student leaders for 25 years. The dance team continues today, almost 60 years later. She also founded a dance company during her tenure, and educated many young men and women in many athletic pursuits, as well preparing physical education and elementary school teachers for their lives as educators. Marthann taught many courses, but her first love was social and ballroom dancing. Each semester in her later years, her classes performed in a Sycamore Showcase. She also was an active partner in her Heirloom Photographic Services, a photography studio owned by her and her husband in Marshall.
However, Marthann's proudest accomplishment was her marriage and her family. The loving couple remained married until Jim's death in 2000, after 35 years of marriage. They were best friends and life partners in the most true sense of the word. They were rarely apart, in work or in play and took great pleasure in each other's company: reading books aloud, watching movies, riding bikes and walking dogs, and camping.
Marthann was a singer and soloist, and a member of the National Champion American Legion Auxiliary Choir in Marshall. She was a member of the Gamma Gamma Chapter of the Sigma Kappa Sorority at Indiana State University. Marthann was a proud founder in 1971 of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha Service Sorority in Marshall, which remains today as the Marshall Service League.
Per Marthann's wishes, cremation rites were accorded, and a Visitation will be held Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. CDT at the Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home in Centralia, Ill. A memorial service is planned for Oct. 20, 2018, at 10 a.m. at the First Congregational Church in Marshall, Ill., with the Rev. Ann Markle officiating. Memorial donations may be made to either the Bledsoe Bush Markle Endowed Scholarship Indiana State University or to the Marshall Community Pool Fund, LTD. Donations will be accepted at the memorial service or will be accepted at the Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 235 N. Sycamore St. Centralia, IL 62801, (618)532-3523, who is honored to be of service to the Marthann Markle family. Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting:
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First Congregational Church
202 North 6th Street, Marshall, IL, USA
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