Joan F. Marsh, author and historian

December 14, 2012

Joan F. Marsh, 88, an author of children’s books and a local historian, died Nov. 22 of heart ailments at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She was a Washington resident.

The death was confirmed by her daughter, Jane Allis.

Mrs. Marsh wrote “Martha Washington,” an illustrated children’s book on first lady Martha Custis Washington, in 1993. She was co-author of “The Placenames of Chevy Chase, Maryland: An Anecdotal Stroll Through the Centuries and Neighborhoods of Chevy Chase” in 2011.

In the 1980s, she wrote film scripts for the Chevy Chase Historical Society, including three educational videos on 17th- and 18th-century Maryland.

Mrs. Marsh received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Holton-Arms School in 1997 and a lifetime achievement award from the Chevy Chase Historical Society earlier this year.

Joan Shaeffer Ferguson was born in New York City and was a 1941 graduate of Holton-Arms School in Bethesda. She did office work for the British Admiralty Delegation and the Foreign Economic Administration in Washington in the early 1940s.

She was a volunteer at the Junior League of Washington and a contributing author of the league’s book, “The City of Washington, an Illustrated History” (1977).

Mrs. Marsh was a former president of the Chevy Chase Historical Society and sat on the board of directors of the Montgomery County Historical Society. She was a board member of the Holton-Arms Alumnae Association.

A grandson, Jeffrey Moon, died in 2010.

Survivors include her husband of 65 years, Richard Marsh of Washington; four children, Sidney Moon of West Lafayette, Ind., Jane Allis of Harrisburg, Pa., Jesse Marsh of Palermo, Italy, and Peter Marsh of Winston-Salem, N.C.; 10 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

— Megan McDonough

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