Susan Lee Bigelow-Marsh
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Jan. 26, 1953 - March 13, 2013
Susan Lee Bigelow-Marsh, 60, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in her childhood Victorian home, in Woodland. She was surrounded with the love of her brother, sister and held her moms hand as she passed from this world into Heaven.
Susan was born Jan. 26, 1953, in Paso Robles to Ken and Betty Bigelow. Sue graduated from Woodland High in 1971 with a strong interest in acting, directing and writing. Susan continued her education and received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., and went on to get her masters degree was from Humboldt State University. Her postgraduate work was completed at Humboldt State receiving her master of fine arts degree in play writing and her masters' degree in directing.
Susan began her career in dramatics by establishing a company called "Way off Broadway Players" and doing summer stock in Woodland. She went on to establish and manage her own theater company "Plays in Progress" for 20 years in Eureka. Sue was married to Clint Marsh during this time and later divorced in 2008.
Susan will always be remembered for her play "Rose Colored Glass," which was first performed in Woodland's Grand Opera House. Since then it has been presented in New York's "Off Broadway" as well as numerous other theaters throughout the USA and is now sold worldwide. Co-author was her longtime friend Janice Goldberg. Together she and her writing partner, Janice Goldberg formed a theater company called GalCo.
Susan returned to her hometown in 2008 to be with and help her father, Ken Bigelow, in his last days of life. She quickly became re-established in Woodland and was hired by Paul Miller, library director, to re-establish the Literacy program at the Woodland Library. Here she blossomed by using her grant writing talents and building the literacy program to be one of California State Libraries top literacy programs. The current literacy program now operates with 70-plus tutors, many volunteers, a program of learning at Fourth and Hope and computer classes at the library for the homeless.
Sue was a loving person and had a firm faith background as a Christian. She had a special passion for those in need and opened her heart to all who needed help in re-establishing themselves with fundamental skills of life. She worked with the homeless and together in 2011 they edited a book titled "Steps in the Mirror," with co-editor Michael Elfant. The writings found in this book touch the heart and are original words and artwork of the homeless clients who were living at Fourth and Hope during this time.
Another program she was involved with at the shelter was the S.T.E.P. program with Mike Elfant as administrator. Her literacy program was presented with "Agency of the Year." Sue had a special passion for and enjoyed using her relaxed manner and speaking from her heart in speeches securing funds for United Way. In her speeches she spoke of heart-warming success stories of her clients.
Sue was preceded in death by her father Kenneth Bigelow; great aunt Taffy Kino Conway; uncle John Beede; aunts Ethel Beede and Jean Andrews-Miller; daughter Debbie Andrews; grandparents Idalin and Hence Wallace and Mildred and Kenneth Bigelow Sr.
A memorial service under the direction of Pastor Larry Love is scheduled for 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 19, at the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 509 College St., Woodland. A reception will follow the service. Memorials may be made to Christian Church, 509 College St., Woodland, 95695; the Literacy Program, Woodland Library, 250 first St., Woodland, 95695; the United Way, 716 Main St., Suite B, Woodland, 95695; the Woodland Library Rose Club scholarship fund, 250 First St., Woodland, 95695; or a charity of the donors' choice.
Published in Daily Democrat from Mar. 16 to Apr. 10, 2013