Hearts Love 25
Official Obituary of

Doreen Alyce Marsh

January 5, 1947 ~ March 1, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Doreen Marsh Obituary

Doreen Alyce Johnson was born at Boston City Hospital (Today’s Boston Medical Center) in Boston, Massachusetts on January 5, 1947, to the late Alice Russel Johnson (“Peggy”) of Chelsea, MA and Frederick C. Johnson (“Tut”) of Malden, MA. She was the second born of four children and relished the role of being a “Big Sister” to her two younger siblings.

After her parents were displaced from the West End of Boston in the late 1950s under the federal and local governments’ misfortunate political guise and banner of “Urban Renewal,” she eventually moved to and grew up in Jamaica Plain where she became a popular teen and developed strong friendships with her peers, especially at Bromley-Heath Development. She enjoyed dancing, singing, roller skating, and going to the movies where on the cinematic screen she also self-envisioned a future. As portrayed by several of her more youthful photos in this very program, Doreen was not only glamorous, but she was also “fine!” With natural beauty and acting abilities not to her disadvantage, Doreen had her eyes set high on pursuing a career on the big stage and big screen, and often took up several small acting roles in local plays throughout the City to foster this dream. After graduating from Jamaica Plain High School, Doreen attended Boston Business School where she excelled in her classes. As an adult, she volunteered her time with organizations like Head Start and was known for her community work and for civil rights advocacy. Snippets of her work history included various job posts in administration, reception, typing, and office support such as at Boston City Hall, the Bay State Banner, the Tobin Community Center, St. Paul AME Church, and different temp agencies throughout Boston.

On April 3, 1975, at Concord Baptist Church, Doreen married Music Educator and Musician, Milton Marsh of Bermuda, whom she met as a Flute Teacher while attending the Elma Lewis School based in Roxbury, MA, and from this union were born her beloved children, Tanya J. Marsh, Jonathan M. Marsh, and Milton A. Marsh III. Doreen loved being a “Stay-at-Home Mom” and as a proud Homemaker and devoted Mother, she was able to give her children all the attention they deserved and needed. This flexible lifestyle also enabled her to begin attending Bible study classes and helped cultivate fertile grounds toward her entering a new spiritual way of life.

In 1977, “Sister” Doreen became a “born-again” Christian during her early years of marriage. She joined St. Paul AME Church in Cambridge, MA under former Pastor Rev. Dr. LeRoy Attles and Administrator Rev. Richard Richardson, while commuting with her 3 young children in tow to Cambridge where she remained active for 10 years and where she attended regularly for as long as she could. Much closer to home, Doreen was most notably ranked amongst the original Charter Members of New Covenant Christian Center (now Jubilee Church) under Founders Bishop Gideon Thompson and wife Reverend “Sister T.” Doreen also attended revivals and special services at numerous other Churches where she was known quite well, including by Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond and Rev. Dr. Gloria Hammond, Founders of Bethel AME Jamaica Plain; Rev. Dr. Gregory G. Groover, Sr., long-serving Pastor of Charles Street AME Church; Rev. Dr. Howard A. McClendon, long-serving former Pastor of Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Church Cambridge; the late Rev. Michael Haynes and current Pastor Rev. Willie Bodrick, II, J.D., M. Div. of Twelfth Baptist Church- all of whom remained affectionately in her heart and in her prayers. When commuting became increasingly difficult, she was thrilled at the opportunity to join New Hope Baptist Church in the South End under the pastorship of the late Rev. Willie Dubose Jr. and surviving wife Rev. Olivia Dubose, where she enthusiastically sang with the Senior Church Choir, and where she resumed faithful membership under the successive leadership and spiritual care of current Pastor Rev. Kenneth Simms and First Lady Shareen Simms. Despite the development of more acute physical challenges, Sister Doreen still pressed her way to attend Sunday services at New Hope’s new location in Hyde Park, and as much as she could, up through the time of her passing.

Doreen loved gospel music, praising God, and sharing the Good News with friends, family, or anyone willing to listen. She had what she called a “food ministry” and felt compelled to feed those around her as part of her Christian duties. She helped arrange countless dinners and celebrations for family and friends and kept God at the forefront of events and gatherings with prayer. Doreen consistently leaned on her steadfast faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to get her through, especially during her later years when she faced health-related challenges. Despite her numerous hospitalizations, Doreen maintained a positive outlook; was quick to smile; to offer words of encouragement; and to send up prayers for others. During difficult times, she often found comfort in reading the Scriptures- among them, one of her favorite Bible verses was “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Mathew 5:4 NIV).

The family of Sister Doreen Marsh wish to express their sincerest thanks to all those who have so willingly prayed for and supported her family during this time of bereavement- with a special thanks to the staff at Boston Medical Center; clergy and staff members of New Hope Baptist Church; George Lopes Funeral Home; and Sister Jeannine Clarke. In addition, the family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to Mr. Ralph Walton- Doreen’s Companion and Life Partner, whose relentless friendship and around- the-clock, nurse-like care and support for her physical and emotional, needs will always be remembered.

Doreen Alyce Marsh leaves to cherish her life and memories, her Lifetime Partner- Ralph Walton; one daughter- Tanya Marsh; two sons- Jonathan Marsh and Milton Marsh III; seven grandchildren; one brother- Frederick (“Rick’) Johnson; one sister- Renee Jackson; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, church family, friends, and neighbors. Sadly, Doreen was predeceased by her youngest sister- Loray Thomas.

 

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
March 21, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Twelfth Baptist Church
160 Warren Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Funeral Service
Thursday
March 21, 2024

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Twelfth Baptist Church
160 Warren Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Interment following funeral service
Thursday
March 21, 2024

1:00 PM
Forest Hills Cemetery
95 Forest Hills Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Repass
Thursday
March 21, 2024

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
New Hope Baptist Church
1450 River Street
Boston, MA 02136

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