In Memorium, Courtney Kathleen Marsh, February 16, 1992 to December 26, 1993. She was our baby.

Had a friend.
He married his high school sweetheart.
The year he turned 38, his first child started college, the second high school.
"Feels so empty" he said
"You'll understand."

I married later,
To someone I wish I'd known from childhood.
The year I turned 38, buried two children, lost another from miscarriage.
Feels so empty
I understand.

Eulogy (with help by Rosalie Petersen)

Courtney Kathleen Marsh was a vibrant twenty-two month old tow head. She liked to be in the thick of things. When you are only "this" high, the best way to put yourself in the thick of things is to climb.

She climbed onto tables, counter tops, and higher. Once, when she was at the Malone's house, she watched one of the older kids place some candy high on a shelf, near the ceiling. Courtney climbed and got it.

My children used to call her Courtney baby, but she had recently graduated to just "Courtney." They loved her, as did many others, but no one loved her as much as her family.

In every family there are people with whom the children are identified. In the Marsh family, Jessica was often called an "Andrea child" for her desire and determination to succeed. Many think of Heather as a younger version of her Mother, Win. And Steve used to always say: "Courtney is my baby."

Not that he did not share her. Courtney and Jessica were especially close. Even if both were cranky, if you put them together, both would become happy. On long trips it was a miracle that made travel with a car full of children a happy time. Her parents treasured that special relationship.

Courtney also loved her babysitter Alison. The two were so happy together that Alison often came over to play, even when she wasn't babysitting. It just made them happy to be together. She also liked Ken Warnock. Amazingly, whenever she had the chance, she would snuggle on his lap and sit perfectly still.

Courtney loved her Mother. Win could have said "Courtney is my baby" and been perfectly right. Courtney would try to cheer up for her Mom, and even when she had twin ear aches, Courtney would do her best to be cheerful as long as her Mom was around.

She loved to please her Momma. But she was also Steve's baby. She would awake early and trundle out to sit on his lap every morning to read the newspaper while everyone else slept. Then she would go trundling into the kitchen to borrow that lap again while she ate breakfast.

If she woke up in the middle of the night for a bottle or a diaper, for her Daddy she would quit crying when he promised to come back with what she needed. She learned some patience as her Dad didn't quite have the touch as her Mom and did not move as fast. After all, Win was up more often to change or feed Courtney, and Courtney loved her Momma.

Anywhere she went she wanted to be able to hug and love her Mom. She loved her sister Heather, and was finally old enough to be fun to play with. Courtney needed care, as a baby does, but she gave back so much more in joy and love. Her family loved to share her spirit and joy.

Courtney has climbed as high as she can go, and is once again with Jessica. Of what she left behind in love and laughter and hope, everything that she was, we share. The time has come that she is more than her Daddy's baby, and she is now God's child, in God's hands, where she has always been.

At twenty-two months her time here with us was much too short. Let us share what was precious in her memory. In the name of God's Holy Child, Amen.


Courtney Kathleen Marsh, the twenty-two month old daughter of Win L. and Stephen R. Marsh was declared dead on December 26, 1993 at Los Angeles, California in the UCLA Pediatrics ICU. The medical conclusions that follow in an attempt to explain what happened are only the early conclusions of the medical staff.

It is thought that death resulted from complications following a course of the flu. The flu infection affected her pancreas along with the normal course, damaging it. When the flu had passed, the antibodies created to fight the flu went on to destroy the pancreas.  Her parents realized something was wrong Christmas morning.

She awoke listless and was taken into the hospital prior to opening her presents as her parents were concerned about any possible sign of illness.

According to the UCLA PICU doctors, in vulnerable children under four years of age there is no known successful course of treatment, especially when there is an over aggressive course of treatment. The loss of the pancreas causes diabetes to set in and the diabetes in a young child (with a simple metabolism) results in enzymatic changes that can destroy the blood/brain barrier, resulting in catastrophic hemorrhaging. Her blood sugar was under 300 at the time of admission and about 200 when the hemorrhaging occurred.

The loss was a complete surprise as Courtney had been through a complete work-up on Tuesday of the week she died (we took her in to be treated for an ear ache).

While attempting to treat Courtney, UCLA obtained copies of all of Jessica's records. Nothing useful was concluded.

It presents some comfort to know that the two deaths were completely unrelated. Given the genetic diversity of her parents a metabolic disorder was extremely unlikely, but with one living child remaining it was important to protect against all risks. Last year we had three living children, now we have only the one who has always seemed our frailest.

Courtney Kathleen Marsh Born February 16, 1992 Died December 26, 1993 Funeral Service: 10:00 A.M. December 30, 1993.

Scriptural Close:II Corinthians 1:4.

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