Waiting to be called
Long laid low along the ridge
the Old Man rests, his crusty visage staring ever upward,
waiting, waiting, waiting to be called,
when he will rise to stand o’re all and look about,
the blue-hazed land rolling out to distanced watered shores,
and he will shake his grizzled beard, and wipe his gnarléd brow
and take his first stiff step, then more,
the residue of his millennialed nap falling to the forested floor
as he glides agefully away with the day’s last light,
his stately shoulders shrouded ‘neath the cooling night. (L Stewart Marsden @2014)
Lawrence Stewart “Skip” Marsden, passed away on the 28th of September, 2020 at 70 years of age. He was born on the 28th of November, 1949 in High Point, NC and was preceded in death by his beloved parents, originally from Luverne, Minnesota, Lawrence Albert “Larry” and Millicent Snyder “Milly” Marsden, and his infant sister, Maryly Marsden, and his brother-in-law, Donald Boyd Morgan.Skip grew up in High Point, NC. He attended local schools and later went to high school (1967-68) at Woodberry Forest, VA, where he played football. In college, he played lacrosse at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg,VA. He finished his college career at High Point University, NC, and graduated with a BA in Nonprofit Management (1975).
Skip was an author of two published books, “Through the Glass Darkly”, a book of short stories, and “Stinky and the Nightmare”, a children’s book. Skip’s writings have been published in various local and national newspapers and magazines, including The Proficient Reader. He wrote a musical comedy (music, lyrics, and book) in the mid 1970’s called “A Couple of Times a Year” which was produced through a NC Grass Roots Arts Bill. You can find many of his writings on his fairly popular blog at skipmars.wordpress.com. His most notable work was the chronicle of his son’s fight with Leukemia, “Graham’s Story”, which was published in the Greensboro News and Record (December, 1982). Graham won that fight with cancer and currently lives in Denver, Colorado, today with his wife, Sarah, and their dog, Griffy.
Over the years, Skip also worked in sales/marketing, and for the Boy Scouts of America. He served as a public school teacher and was a hospital website administrator. In recent years, he volunteered for the Ensemble Stage Theater Company, in Banner Elk, NC.
The world was his stage and the stage was a very large part of his world, because one would often find Skip participating in a show put on by one of the nearest community theaters in Durham, Hendersonville, Hickory, or Banner Elk. His beloved roles included SCROOGE in “A Christmas Carol”, CAPTAIN VON TRAPP in “The Sound of Music”, ALFRED P. DOOLITTLE in “My Fair Lady”, and DON QUIXOTE in “Man of La Mancha”.
Skip participated in the theater with both of his wives and passed his love of the theater onto his children. He even spent a few years living in NYC with his first wife, pursuing the dream of being an established playwright after producing the successful “A Couple of Times a Year” in NC.
Skip met his first wife at a peace rally/meeting and both became involved in Youth Unlimited and a non-denominational church, loosely called “God’s Farm” near High Point, NC, in the early 1970’s. Skip often played guitar and sang special worship selections which he wrote, including “Thank You My Lord for the Day”. Other churches that he attended regularly were Park Avenue United Methodist (NY, NY), Christ United Methodist Church (Greensboro, NC), Epworth United Methodist Church (Durham, NC), Blacknall Presbyterian Church (Durham, NC), First Baptist Church (Hendersonville, NC) and Hickory Community Church (Hickory, NC). Skip was a volunteer church leader and was frequently asked by the students to play the “Vegetable Song” for his eldest daughter’s youth group in Durham.
Skip was married to Margaret “Maggie” Ferriter. They had two children, Jessica (1973) and Graham (1979). His second marriage was to Margaret Moylan. Together they had three children, Peter (1994), Livia (1999) and Lily (2003).
Family was always very important to Skip. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren and going to the beaches in Brunswick County, NC, every summer with his Marsden relatives for the past 60+ years. When not writing, he spent much of his time playing guitar, writing songs, singing, playing harmonica, drawing, watching great films or football, cooking, or working on a crossword. He was a proud dog owner and a lover of nature.
In recent years, he served as president of the Homeowner’s Association for Sugar Mountain Village and thoroughly enjoyed entertaining friends at his mountain home. Among friends, he was known for his wit and his general concern for the state of the world and his generous spirit and charisma.
Skip frequented Grandfather Mountain and relished his peaceful views of its mighty profile by his window from his condo in Sugar Mountain. To his grandchildren, he was known as “Papa Skip”. He supported them by attending their school plays, sharing his wisdom, and giving encouragement and praise.
To his children, he was known simply as “Dad”. He supported them daily with frequent phone calls, visits, and support. When his health issues began to be serious, he and his family made a decision to move him into his daughter and son-in-law’s home and reside in their newly finished basement so that he could receive better care. His time there was brief, but beautiful.
He is survived and lovingly remembered by his children Jessica Clarkson (Brad), Graham Marsden (Sarah), Peter, Livia, and Lily Marsden; grandchildren Bailey, Jasmine, and Ava Clarkson; siblings Kim Parker (Scott), Andi Morgan, and John Marsden, many nieces and nephews, and his dog, Gordie.
A COVID-19 safe outdoor gathering will take place on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 2PM in Sugar Mountain, NC for a small group of friends and family. This gathering will also be digitally accessible for those unable to travel. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “SKIP MEMORIAL” in the subject line for requests to a link to attend the gathering in-person or virtually.