Obituary Condolences

MARSHALL, Maria Jane

Maria Jane Marshall, nee Yantis, died October 31, 2013, 93 and 3/4 years after she was born to Hugh Cleveland Yantis and Jenny Sloan Jones Yantis in Orange, Texas, on January 12, 1920, the fourth of five children. She moved to Austin in 1925 where Hugh oversaw the building program of the University of Texas. Thus Jane grew up at the edge of the 40 Acres where she milked cows, had a donkey named Nightingale, and fished in Waller Creek. She bow hunted with Hugh west of town and was the first person to play the chimes in the newly opened Tower for New Year's Eve in 1936.

Jane was schooled at Wooldridge Elementary (it pained her mightily when she saw this historic building being demolished), University Junior High (where the three Senoritas -- Jane, Lucille, and Mary -- became lifelong friends), and Austin High, from which she graduated in 1937. In 1941 she graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Home Economics and proceeded to teach at Gregory, Raymondville, Sweeney, and Devine, where she met her future husband Dr. W. N. (Bill) Marshall. They married in 1952 and moved to Florence, where Bill was the doctor and Jane began teaching. Widowed after just eight months of marriage, Jane gave birth to her only child, got a Master's degree, and taught in Florence for 28 years. She retired to Austin in 1980 and became active in the Thankful Hubbard Chapter of the DAR, the William Barret Travis Chapter of the DRT, and Recording for the Blind. She was a charter member of and facilitator for FAIR (Family and Individual Reliance) and an active member and board member of NAMI Austin (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for many years. She taught the 3-year-old Sunday School class at University Presbyterian Church for 52 years and has volunteered for and supported Useful Wild Plants, Inc. since 1977. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, teaching, genealogical research, fishing on Lake Pontchartrain, wildflower drives, cryptic crossword puzzles, reading, word games, making marshmallow creme fudge every Christmas, Homemade Vanilla, iced tea with mint, holiday brunch at Green Pastures, BBQ on Sunday afternoons, and time with friends and family. Jane Marshall had one child but many sons and daughters. She is survived by daughter Jane Lynn Marshall, nieces Carolyn Yantis Fritsch, Kay Yantis English, and Sue Yantis Denton, nephew Kent Morgan Yantis, and many great- and great-great nieces and nephews.

Deceptively low key, Jane had a sharp wit and a sensible outlook. In the 1940s she regularly took her Home Ec students camping at Garner State Park. When asked why, she said "I wanted them to be able to cook under a variety of circumstances." She carried this tradition on as a Girl Scout troop leader in Florence. She had not cut her hair since she was 12, wearing it for 81 years in her characteristic braids and bun, but in recent months she had been seen sporting cornrows and green fingernails. She recently told her daughter "I know more about you than you know about me." She was right.

Several falls and broken bones knocked Jane back this year, but each time she worked hard to get strong, and she was dressed in her exercise clothes ready to start physical therapy again the day she entered the hospital for the last time. But too many parts had worn out, and on Halloween morning her spirit chased the passing storm into the dawn and she left for good.

A memorial service will take place Saturday, November 9, at 2:00 p.m. at University Presbyterian Church, 2203 San Antonio St., Austin, Texas, 78705. Light refreshments will follow. Parking is available in the University Co-op parking garage at San Antonio and 23rd. Rather than send flowers that she is not here to enjoy, Jane the pragmatist would prefer that donations, for those inclined to such gestures, be made to Useful Wild Plants, Inc., 4700 Loyola Lane, Suite 104, Austin, TX 78723, an organization that she has supported for many years in many ways, from making road food for field trips to sharp-eyed editing to watering the office plants.

So. Adios Senorita. Goodbye Aunt Jane. Bye bye Mother. See you later Miss Jane. Take care of yourself Mama. So long Mrs. Marshall. Bye Jane. Good night Janie. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite. Super Rat has left the building. Jane has gone through the Stargate. Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tectum. It's Christmas in Killarney. Thanks for lunch. At.

Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at


Published in Austin American-Statesman from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10, 2013
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