Services Saturday for Nevada native |

Services Saturday for Nevada native

by Kurt Hildebrand

When Irene Marshall was a little girl growing up on Mud Lake Ranch in Carson Valley, she and her brother burned down the bunkhouse.

The discovery of paint, resulted in some new plumage for the chickens.

But also among Irene Alice Haase Marshall’s adventures were raising four children, teaching, ranching and remembering the place where she grew up.

Born Sept. 15, 1933, in Carson City to Alice Elda Hellwinkel and Henry William Haase, she was baptized by Trinity Lutheran Church Pastor Paul Felton.

Marshall died Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at age 82. A celebration of her life is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center in Gardnerville.

Her father worked at a sawmill in Hope Valley for a few summers in the 1930s before going to work for Scotchy Mack as the Mud Lake Ranch foreman. He was there when George Springmeyer bought the ranch from Mack.

She remembered trips to Horseshoe Bend on horseback. Her father didn’t trust saddles, so she always rode bareback.

In 1948, the family moved to a ranch on Dresslerville Lane. During the flood that year she recalled that they had to use a rowboat to get out.

She started school at the old Minden Elementary, which is now the district offices on Mono Avenue. She attended four grades in Gardnerville Elementary and then returned to Minden for 7th and 8th grades.

She played basketball for the Douglas Tigers, sang in the glee club and played the alto horn in the band. She worked on the school yearbook, the Garminada, and was a reporter on the school newspaper, The Tiger.

A member of 4-H from 1946 to 1951, she learned to sew in school, and made many of her own outfits. That skill would serve her well down the road when she made sheepskin coats for The Golden Fleece, and later sewed bird seed socks for Howard Godecke. She estimated she sewed 225,000 on her machine.

She worked for Alvina Kidman at the Tarry Tavern, and was selected queen of the Minden Co-Op Creamery. She was a delegate to the first convention of the Future Homemakers of America in Kansas City in 1948.

She met her husband Emory “Pete” Marshall while she was a junior in high school. She graduated in 1951 from Douglas County High School.

Pete was called to serve in the Army late in 1950, so he proposed before he left. The couple was married Dec. 23, 1951, while she was attending the University of Nevada, Reno. Marshall was pregnant with her oldest daughter in her last year at the university. She was the highest ranking scholar in the College of Agriculture when she graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1954. When Pete graduated in 1955 the family moved to Yerington where he worked in the Cooperative Extension Office.

They moved back to the Valley in 1959, so Pete could help his father on the ranch.

In 1966, Irene resurrected the Douglas County Fair, encouraged by R-C Editor Roberta McConnell. In 1967 Pete was named the Douglas County Extension agent.

Marshall taught at Douglas High school until 1984, and started the Golden Fleece, which specialized in creating sheepskin coats.

When her former high school opened as the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center, she volunteered to help her friend Debbie Byers, who was the first director.

One of the biggest exhibits she worked on was the Smithsonian’s Barn Again. She also worked on the Gardnerville and ranching heritage exhibits.

She joined the Gardnerville Woman’s Literary Club in 1997, ostensibly because they needed a larger venue for meetings.

She was named a Woman in History by the Carson Valley Historical Society in 2003.

She was preceded in death by Pete in August 2003.