Marjorie V. “Marge” Barth

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 3:06 pm

Marjorie V. “Marge” Barth, 94, a former resident of Decorah, passed away Thursday, March 3, 2016, while under the care of the dedicated staff of the Hawkeye Care Center, Dubuque. Services for Marjorie are Saturday, March 12, at 2:30 p.m. at Asbury Community Chapel, 5025 Saratoga Rd., Dubuque.

Marge was born June 9, 1921, to Helena and Henry Hove in Ridgeway. Marge graduated from Ridgeway High School where she was known as the “Ridgeway Flash” because of her ability on the basketball court. Marge then attended Luther College in Decorah, where she met and married her husband, Frank Barth, Sept. 28, 1940. They were married at Lincoln Church in Ridgeway. In the years to come many of her children and even grandchildren would become part of Luther College — a place of considerable prominence in Marge’s life. While Frank was involved in teaching economics and business at Luther, Marge devoted her attention to making their home in Decorah. During World War II Marge was in charge of the family as Frank served as a naval aviator in the Pacific Theatre. In 1953 Marge and Frank left Decorah to head to Washington D.C. In October 1955, they moved to the Chicago area where Frank worked for Pettibone Corporation; their children attended Lake Forest high school. Marge and Frank then returned to the world of academia in 1969, when Frank was recruited to be president of Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn. Marge would serve here as Frank’s First Lady until 1975, often welcoming students, faculty and family into their “white house” of the College and attending such prestigious events as the Nobel Awards Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1977 they would return again to Luther College where Frank worked as a professor and treasurer for the college until 1990. Marge and Frank would retire to Sun City, Ariz. in 1990. They finally moved to Dubuque in 2009, to be closer to family.

Marjorie is survived by her four children: (Eugene, Kathy VanDine of Dubuque, Frank and James); 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Frank Barth.

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