Cover photo for Edith Alta Marsh's Obituary
Edith Alta Marsh Profile Photo
1927 Edith 2023

Edith Alta Marsh

July 26, 1927 — October 27, 2023



Edith Alta Marsh died peacefully on Friday, October 27, 2023, in Tucson, Arizona. 

Edith Marsh was born July 26, 1927, in Minot, North Dakota, to Ed and Martha Tuftedal. She grew up in Wild Rose, North Dakota, and Crosby, North Dakota, graduating from Crosby High School in 1944. 

Edith attended St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in piano performance. Following graduation, Edith taught in Plentywood, Montana, where she met and married her husband of 65 years, James Percy Marsh, who passed away in 2016. 

In 1952, Edith and Percy moved to Velva, North Dakota, and in 1954, to Minot, North Dakota, where they lived for thirty-five years and raised their five children. 

Edith will be remembered for her lovely physical appearance, elegant demeanor, her love for God, family, and friends, and her exceptional musical talent. In Minot, Edith was very active at Little Flower Catholic Church, serving for twenty years as organist and choir director. She was a professional piano accompanist for solo singers and instrumentalists, and was the rehearsal accompanist for the operas Tosca and The Barber
of Seville directed by the distinguished lyric baritone, Frank Guarrera of the Metropolitan Opera. She was also rehearsal accompanist for the operas Carmen, La Traviata, HMS Pinafore and Handel’s Messiah. 

Even though Edith was very involved in music, her primary dedication was in raising her five children, instilling in them a devotion to God, high ideals, the importance of academic and musical education, and encouraging each child to explore other interests such as sports, dance, and acting. Edith and Percy maintained a relaxed home, welcoming and entertaining friends and enjoying the children’s and grandchildren’s interests and activities. Edith was devoted to her dear parents who also lived in Minot until they died. In addition to her passion for music and daily piano practicing, Edith loved watercolor painting, enjoyed playing golf and contract and duplicate bridge; and, in her later years, she enjoyed playing Scrabble and solving crossword puzzles. 

In 1989, Edith and Percy permanently retired to Phoenix, Arizona. In 1992, Edith began teaching again and developed a vibrant private piano and voice studio for around twenty aspiring music students. She felt particularly honored to be able to instill in her students a love and appreciation for classical music and continued teaching until the age of 92. In addition to teaching in Phoenix, Edith performed solo piano literature as well as piano duets with her colleague and dear friend, Jim Sage. She recorded four CDs of piano literature. Edith was a member of the Phoenix Music Teachers Association, Phoenix Classics Club, and St. Theresa Catholic Church. She was a decades-long member of the PEO in both Minot and Phoenix. 

In the spring of 2020, during the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Edith moved to Tucson, Arizona to live with her daughter, Stephanie, and son-in-law, William. She remained there until her passing on October, 27, 2023. 

Edith is survived by her five children Julie Lilleberg (Dennis), Stephanie Don Carlos (William), James E. Marsh (Debra), Susan Casagranda (Greg), and Mary Meyer (Kurt); grandchildren Rebecca Fleming (Jerome), Deanna Frerichs (Bill), Dalton Hirst (Diane), Katie Zeches (Chris), Ben Marsh, Alexandra Marsh, Megan Landry (Brett), Randy
Lough (Katie), Lauren Murphy, Will Murphy; great-grandchildren Luke Fleming, Jack, Noah and Georgia Frerichs, Francis and Charlotte Zeches, Ava and Zoe Landry; sister Beverly Ormseth of Portland, Oregon; niece Maren Cohn, and nephews Leif, Kris and Nik Ormseth.

A funeral Mass for Edith will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 9th at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 5045 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Interment will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Phoenix. Visitation will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8th at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix.  Donations may be made to

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, November 8, 2023

6:00 - 8:00pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home

4800 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, November 9, 2023

10:00 - 11:00am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Saint Theresa Catholic Church

5045 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, November 9, 2023

11:30am - 12:30pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Saint Francis Catholic Cemetery

2033 N 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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