Rena “Penny” Marsh, 65, of Coalfield, passed away on November 4, 2019, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was a member of Middle Creek Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday School for several years. She was employed by Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge for more than 30 years, where she made many wonderful friends. A self-described Navy brat, she grew up all over the country before returning to graduate from Coalfield High School her senior year. Being in a military family constantly on the move instilled in her a love of travel from a young age, which continued throughout her life. Penny travelled the world, and she had a particular fondness for England, which she visited many times. She was an avid reader with a particular appreciation for historical fiction. She enjoyed writing and wrote dozens of books, both fiction novels and collections of poetry. Although she did not have any children, she loved kids and took several of her younger cousins on regular outings to restaurants, movies, and the theatre, another passion of hers.
Penny loved life, and she lived every day in the spirit of “live life to its fullest.” She fought with such unbelievable determination and bravery to beat cancer, and her family was humbled and proud of every bit of effort she gave her fight. Her family clings tight to the faith that Penny had as well, and we find comfort that she is no longer hurting and has a new body that cancer cannot touch. She is forever reunited with her parents and family who’ve gone ahead, celebrating with Christ who provided her with the ultimate healing with the simple touch of His hand.
She is preceded in death by her father, James “Dusty” Marsh, and her mother, Alma “Jane” Gouge. Her grandparents, James Gouge and Rena Liles Gouge, and James A. G. Marsh and Nancy Paralee Daniel.
Aunts: Jewel Wilson Gouge, Wilma Gouge Edwards, Sue Gouge Pelfrey, Patsy Moore Gouge, Kay Gouge Gamble, Carol Windham Daugherty, and Opal Gouge Covington.
Uncles: Jerry Lynn Gouge, Franklin “Joe” Tarner, Billy Gouge, and Loyd Edwards.
Cousins: Vanessa Gouge, David Edwards, Billy “Lee” Gouge, Sandy Cooper Covington, James “Bud” Gouge, Eddie Lee Daugherty, and Shelena Gouge Baker.
She is survived by her aunts, Rose Gouge Tarner and Beatrice West Gouge (caregivers), Teena Gouge Jones and husband David, and Susan Gouge Jenkins.
Uncles: James “Jimmy” Gouge, Larry Daugherty, Eddie Windham and wife Donna, Frank Windham and wife Sherry, Don Pelfrey, and Tom Gamble.
Special cousins: Christy Tarner and Sarah Gouge King (caregivers), Mary Edwards Wright, Laura Gouge Wilson, Josiah and Gabby Covington, Brenton Gouge, Alyssa Jane King, Erma McCarroll, and Robby Daugherty.
Special friends: Mark Johnson, Caroline Coleman-Kalita, Jason Cook, Laurie Lowman, and all of her “Heat” family.
The family would like to thank Amedisys Hospice, Oak Ridge Methodist Medical Center, Parkwest Medical Center, and Thompson Cancer Survival Center, especially Stephanie, Serena, Rome, Shaun, and Greg, who all went above and beyond in providing her care and keeping her as comfortable as possible.
The family will receive friends at Schubert’s Funeral Home on Thursday, November 7, 2019 from 5-7 pm with funeral to follow. Reverend Tim Wilson will be officiating. She will be cremated, and her remains will be buried with her parents at Oliver Springs Cemetery at a later date.
Schubert Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.