Betty Jane Poindexter Marsh
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Betty Jane Poindexter Marsh was born in Roanoke, Virginia, to the late William Poindexter and Helen McAfee-Poindexter-Iseley. She had one brother the late, William Poindexter, Junior. Relocating to New York City at a very early age, she attended New York Public Schools. She then returned to Roanoke, Virginia, completing elementary school and graduating from Lucy Addison High School.

After completing high school, Betty relocated to Norfolk, Virginia, where she met and married George W. Marsh, Senior. This union created four children, Gwendolyn, Marilyn, George, and Jocelyn. Betty continued her education by attending the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College (Norfolk State University), majoring in Business Administration. Additionally, she attended Old Dominion University (continuing educational calluses in Business Administration), and various workshops, seminars, and classes to enhance her occupational abilities.

Betty worked as a Medical Specialist for the City of Portsmouth for five years. Later, she transitions to the Clerk Librarian position for the United States Government, where she retired with fifteen years of service. Additionally, Betty worked with Los Angeles Choir Robes for more than twenty-five years. 

Betty began voice lessons at the age of twelve with Professor Gorum of Roanoke, Virginia as her instructor. She sang in the High School Choir under the direction of Miss Eunice Poindexter. Female Vocalist for the Norfolk and Western Male Chorus of Roanoke, Virginia, Jazz Vocalist for a popular local jazz band and was often called "The Torch Singer." Her love for music led her to become one of the founding members of the Tidewater Chapter of the James Cleveland Gospel Music Workshop of America. The Tidewater Chapter of GMWA was founded on October 6, 1980, by a group of musicians, choir directors, and musically oriented singers and non-singers, assembled at New Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. She was the first Assistant Chapter Representative from 1980-1993.  During this time, the Tidewater Chapter of GMWA at the 1983 National Convention received top honors and a special invitation from Rev. Dr. James Cleveland to sing at the Women of Worship Service as a special guest. Later, she became the second Chapter Representative from 1993-2008. Finally, she was the Chapter Representative Emeritus from 2008-2020. During her tenure with the Tidewater Chapter of GMWA, she received many accolades including the Betty J. Marsh Day with the City of Portsmouth.

Betty's love for The Lord was cultivated at an early age. She was a member of Jerusalem Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia, Abyssinia Baptist Church in New York City, New York, First Baptist Campostella in Norfolk, Virginia, St. John AME Norfolk, Virginia, Zion Bethel UCC in Portsmouth, Virginia (30 years), New Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia (14 years), and Good News Family Worship Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

She was predeceased by her husband George W. Marsh, Sr., son George W. Marsh, Jr. son-in-law Wm. Earl Lawrence, and his great-granddaughter Riley Lawrence. Left to cherish her legacy is her daughters Gwendolyn (Sam) Brown, Marilyn Lawrence, and Jocelyn Marsh three grandsons Tracey (Debra) Brown, Brian Brown, Sr., William Lawrence, Jr., four granddaughters Maurita (DeAndre) Burden, Salome Lawrence, Marilyn Lawrence, Jessica Marsh-Brown, fifteen great-grandchildren (Quinton, Sr., Kaylon, MyRon, Brian, Jr., Christopher, Marcellis, McKyle, Nathaniel, Jessica, Marcia, Chalise, Mariah, Marissa, Naomi, and Mylasia), three great-great-grandsons (Quinton, Jr., Jace, and Cameron), one great-great-granddaughter (who will arrive in January 2021),  and a host of extended family members, GMWA family members, and friends.

A public viewing will be held on August 29, 2020 at Fisher Funeral Home in Portsmouth, VA, from 10am-12pm. A private Graveside Service will be held at Roosevelt Memorial Park at 1 pm.

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Published in The Virginian-Pilot on Aug. 26, 2020.
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6 entries
August 31, 2020
“I Remember Mama In The Happiest Of Ways”
Marilyn Marie
August 29, 2020
Be it known... I am missing the one and only Queen, Betty Marsh! Lady B was a mother and my dearest friend. When my mother passed, she said to me “I’m your mother now... whether you like it or not!!!” Our love for each other was unmeasurable, she had my back and I had her's! Betty push me to succeed her as Chapter Representative of The Tidewater Virginia GMWA Chapter (National Board Member). Needless to say, my heart is heavy, but I unselfishly release her to the loving arms of Jesus, where I know she can take a well-deserved rest for her faithful service to so many others! She was one of my supporters to the end! I love you Queen B! Condolences to Jai, Maryland and the rest of our family!!!

Sylvester Starkes
August 29, 2020
Miss Betty beautiful person RIP my condolences to the family
William Ruffin
August 27, 2020
She was a beautiful, strong and dedicated God fearing woman. One more Angel has been added to rolls up in Heaven. Betty will be sorely missed. My condolences to the family.
Billy Lewis
August 27, 2020
She was a sweetheart and a beautiful woman she will always be in my heart but we all know she's in a better place you will never be forgotten love you
Manuel Arroyo
August 26, 2020
Words can not express the sadness I feel. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies during this very very difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with all and may God wrap his loving arms around you all and provide you the strength to make it through!

I Love you
Delores Taylor
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