Katherine Tupper Marshall, 96, widow of General of the Army George C. Marshall, died Monday at Loudoun Memorial Hospital in Lessburg. She had suffered from a heart ailment.
In 1946 Mrs. Marshall published a book, "Together," about her life with Gen. Marshall, whose extraordinary career included World War II service as chief of staff of the Army and postwar service as secretary of State and then secretary of Defense in the Trusman administration. The general died in 1959.
The Marshalls were married on Oct. 12, 1930, in Baltimore. The future general was a lieutenant colonel at the time.The best man at the wedding was General of the Armies John J. (Black Jack) Pershing, with whom Marshall had served in World War I.
Son after her marriage, Mrs. Marshall accompanied her husband to his post at Fort Benning , Ga. She held a reception for some of the personnel. As she later related:
"Afterward I confessed to a few of the ladies my absolute ignorance of Army customs and asked them to help me. One lady offered, 'At a tea like this, you always ask the highest ranking officer's wife to pour coffee, not tea.' 'Why is that?' I wanted to know. 'Because,' she replied, 'coffee outranks tea.'"
Mrs. Marshall later said this was based on sound reasoning. Americans favor coffee more than tea, so if both beverages are served, the guest of honor should be placed at the table where the most people gather.
She accompanied her husband to China after World War II when, as a special representative of President Truman, Gen. Marshll unsuccessfully attempted to mediate the dispute between the Chinese Communist and Nationalist forces.
Mrs. Marshall returned from China in early 1947 as a seasoned traveler. She had taken long tours of the Chinese countryside and gathered 352 different varieties of mountain lilies, which she planted on embassy grounds.
Her first request upon returning to this country was a turkey dinner. She found that "there are no turkeys in all China. The nearest ones come from Formosa where they are regarded as sacred sacrificial birds."
Mrs. Marshall was born in Harrodsville, Ky. Her father was a Baptist minister. She graduated from Hollins College in Virginia, then moved to New York to study acting.
She graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and then studied with the Comedie Francaise in Paris. She later toured the British Isles with Sir Frank Benson's English Shakespearean Company. Mrs. Marshall portrayed Ophelia, Portia, Juliet, and Viola.
She returned to this country and performed with Richard Mansfield's troupe. By this time she had her southern accent, as she sought to do, and perfected what was in later years described as a beautiful voice and perfect diction.
In 1911 she married a Baltimore lawyer, Clifton Stevenson Brown, who died in 1928.
Mrs. Marshall is survived by a daughter, Molly Brown Winn, of the home in Lessburg; five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lextington, Va.