Marsha Ann (Baker) Findlay was born July 20, 1940 to Donald and Gertrude (Anderson) Baker. She left this world on July 27, 2023 at University of Iowa Hospitals after battling two major strokes. At the age of 18, Marsha eloped with David Findlay – the most daring thing she ever did in her 83 years of life. They were married for 64 years and had two children. Kimberly Findlay Brackey (Rick Brackey) of LeClaire, Iowa and Thad Findlay of Berthoud, Colorado. Marsha relished time with her family and had seven grandchildren. Jakob and Joshua Findlay. Jared and Ryan Brackey and Valerie (Brackey) Jepsen. Morgan and Bailey Sanders. She had twelve great-grandchildren. She is survived by a younger sister Sherril Kleinman (Larry) and younger brother Donnie Baker. Her sister and brother-in-law Elizabeth and Ron Long. Her younger brother Ron Baker (Becky) and sister-in-law Jo Ellen Baker preceded her in death. She is also survived by her 50-year “rela-friends” – Cheryl Pelton; Marlene Bloomer, Ardy Steine, Mary Warren and Marian Harkness.
It meant a great deal to Marsha to serve as a role model and mentor, not only for her children, but for the many young banking professionals who worked with her during more than 30 years at Brenton Bank in Davenport and Des Moines. Having graduated from Ottumwa High School at 16 years of age, Marsha began her working life as a secretary. After her children were in school, Marsha went back to work as a secretary to Buzz Brenton. From there, she earned numerous promotions and ended her career as Executive Senior Vice President over Retail at the Brenton holding company in Des Moines. She taught banking at Black Hawk College and was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking. Her intelligence, work ethic, loyalty, love of learning, managerial skills and passion for people served her all along her exceptional career path. After retiring from Brenton Banks, she was a consultant with Cohen Brown Management Group, an international bank consulting company. She would say she expected to be a “wife and mom”, the rest grew with her.
She was not athletic nor was she a cook – though she was very proud of her Sunday dinner pot roast. But don’t ask for a grilled cheese sandwich – one side would be burned to a crisp with the char scraped off into the garbage can. She was a singer with a gorgeous voice. She often told the story of aunts and uncles giving her a nickel to sing “You Are My Sunshine” when she was as young as four years old. Had she not become a banker – her secret desire would have been to be a big band singer. Her love of music extended to many genres – but not Willie Nelson “too nasally” nor opera.
Marsha served on many community boards and was recognized with a number of business and community awards. Family Resources, United Way of the Quad Cities Area, and The Des Moines Playhouse were among her most impactful and enjoyed roles.
Marsha loved to travel and had many adventures with her husband and family as well as her girlfriends. Among her favorites were Spain, the British Isles and Tuscany. She loved chocolate chip cookies, going out to dinner and Robert Redford.
As a retiree, Marsha was devoted to living her faith through a variety of roles at St. John’s United Methodist Church. She chaired the Church Council, taught classes, read scripture, and served on a variety of committees.
Per Marsha’s wishes, Celebration of Life services will be held at St. John’s Methodist Church, Davenport, Iowa on August 6, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Visitation/Fellowship to follow at 3:00 p.m. at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Center – a part of St. John’s ministry in central Davenport that Marsha loved.