Tribute to Frances Marshall | St. David's College Old Davideans Association
Sadly, the lovely Frances Marshall, former teacher of Music at St. David's, passed away last month. Her funeral was a wonderful celebration of her life followed by afternoon tea at St. David's College.
This tribute to Frances has been written by Tim Hall who along with former SDC teacher Pete Leavers was officiating at Frances' funeral:
“The most inspirational person I have ever known.” This has been said to me over and over again in the last few days. She had been fighting her MS for over 10 years, followed by the progressive onset of cancer. However, she never lost hope and optimism and the zest for life. In fact her last few days were marked by the excitement of playing any game or activity on hand and was planning to start teaching the piano to her ‘inmates’ at Lennard Cheshire Home! It was all about getting out, driving again, helping others, praying for people, loving being with her family and friends.
My first recollection of Frances was back in the late 70’s when Liz, her daughter, was a 16 year old Glod Camper at St David’s College, when Liz was in her early 20’s she was telling me how her mum was expecting again and then Chris was born!
Frances graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, played the piano and Cello and qualified to teach. How strange then that her first appointment at St David’s was teaching Business and Secretarial skills!
The family has history in North Wales and especially on the Sychnant Pass, but it was in 1976, the year of the great drought, that Frances first came to live in North Wales, in the Crafnant Valley. Because they had pasture, they had a pony and so a Pony Club was born! Then as Chris began to Ski, so did Frances, and soon she was a key figure in the North Wales Ski Club and the Ski Council for Wales. Her zest for life and embracing every opportunity and skill just epitomised Frances.
Having taught in various schools locally as well as St David’s, she became Director of Music around 1997 until she retired in 2007. As with many, she never quite finished at St David’s and continued until her MS became a real physical challenge.
As I look back now Frances grew a faith in Christ that became absolutely unshakeable. She never ceased to enjoy living, but always looked forward to her welcome in heaven – the verse Liz has chosen for her Thanksgiving Service Cover is poignant and utterly fitting, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day…” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Frances will continue to inspire and remain in the hearts of so many of her pupils as a person who was always there for them and had a huge influence on their lives.