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Marsha Louise Thornburgh

June 9, 1948 — March 1, 2024


Marsha Louise Thornburgh

Marsha Louise Thornburgh passed away March 1, 2024, and was with her daughter Nicole and niece Julie Shaw by her side as she took her last breath. She fought a hard battle with lung and brain cancer for close to 3 years before she just became too tired to fight it any longer. She was courageous and a warrior until she just could not do it another day. 

Marsha Louise (Mitchell) Thornburgh was born on June 9, 1948, to Thomas and Dorothy Mitchell in Fresno, CA. She moved to Bakersfield when she was young and attended Standard School and North High School. She moved to Arizona with her parents before her junior year and did finish high school there, but her Alma Mater will always be North High Stars, Class of 1966. 

Marsha met her first husband Don Churchwell while she was at North High School, and they dated until she moved back to Bakersfield after she graduated from high school in 1966. They soon married and had their daughter Nicole in December of 1972 and their son Todd in April of 1976. Don and Marsha were married for 26 years. Her children were everything to Marsha and she was very involved in their lives. So many of Nicole and Todd’s friends considered Marsha to be a “Second Mom” and often told her things she wishes she had never known, often telling them TMI! She was also very involved in her grand children’s lives as well. She loved to watch her grandson Jake play baseball and one of favorite things to do was to go to her granddaughter Kate’s dance competitions. She loved to watch Ainsley in her plays when she was in high school and to watch Bricen play soccer. She made such an impact on so many of her grand-children’s friends as well. 

Marsha met her second husband Harold Thornburgh in 1994 and they were married on April 12, 1996. While they did not have any children together, Marsha did help raise Harold’s son, Philip Thornburgh. She and Harold enjoyed going to lunch at Luigi’s and Woolgrowers where they would meet up with their friends quite often.  

Marsha held a few jobs when Nicole and Todd were growing up. She worked at Garden District Flowers and On The Run as a bookkeeper. From there she went on to work at Stewart Title as a document recorder and eventually moved to First American Title where she continued to work for 33 years. She made so many close friends that she considered family while she was at First American. She retired about a year after she was diagnosed with cancer and probably would still be working there if she hadn’t become ill.

Marsha was full of life. She loved to be around her friends and family and was always ready for a good party. Whether it be a poker party, a party just because, the Churchwell Family reunion or a lunch that turned into an all-day affair, Marsha was always ready for the task.  She was extremely close with her nieces and nephews and shared such special bonds with them. She truly was an “Aunt” to everyone that loved her. Those that knew Marsha well knew that she had a great sense of humor and could always count on a smart aleck remark from her all the time. Marsha loved to snow ski with her family and friends when she was in her younger days and would never turn down a poker game or a chance to gamble. She loved to have her mimosas with her girls when she went on her many girl’s weekends or was at a function with family and friends. 

Marsha is survived by her husband Harold Thornburgh, her daughter Nicole Baker (Chris) and their children Jake and Kate Baker, her son Todd Churchwell (Gege) and their children Mitchell and Madison Dearmore, Bricen and Ainsley Churchwell, son Philip Thornburgh (Meghan) and their children Evelyn, Charlie, Fiona and Jack Thornburgh. She is also survived by her brothers Gerald and James Mitchell.  She leaves behind a Great Grand Daughter, Emma Dearmore, that she never got to meet, but will always get to hear great stories about her Nana. She also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and cousins that she loved dearly. Last but definitely not least, Marsha left behind her furry best friend Bentley, who was always by her side. She loved her so much and they are missing each other tremendously right now. 

Marsha was preceded in death by her parents Thomas and Dorothy Mitchell and her sister-in law Gail Mitchell. 

A Celebration of Life will be held for Marsha at a later date and her friends and family will be notified. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marsha Louise Thornburgh, please visit our flower store.


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