Christine Ann (Acheson) Marshall, age 65, passed away on May 10, 2021 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana after suffering a stroke.
The many people who had the privilege of knowing Chris Marshall remember that she was generous, wise, and a good listener. She had a knack for drawing people in—for making them feel seen, included, and welcome. Chris modeled the truth that hospitality is about more than simply cooking a meal for someone (although she excelled at that, too); it requires genuine and selfless consideration for another’s needs or comforts. Chris had a rare gift for creating a haven for others, and now Jesus Christ has called her home to the place He’s prepared for her.
Chris was born to James and Kay Acheson on August 25, 1955 in Decatur, Indiana. The oldest of five children, Chris was a loving and nurturing friend to her siblings throughout their many childhood adventures. She gave her heart to the Lord while attending a Vacation Bible School at age ten, and her Christian faith later influenced her decision to attend Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. She graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Social Work in 1977.
Throughout her 20s, Chris served on the mission field in various capacities in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, and this sparked a lifelong passion for the peoples and cultures of Latin America. Colombia sparked other lifelong passions for Chris as well, since it’s where she met her future husband, David Marshall, whose time in Colombia intersected hers for a brief but significant period.
Chris completed a Master of Social Work from the Worden School of Social Services in San Antonio, Texas in 1979. She and David were married later that year on December 29 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
After relocating a few times, Chris and David settled near David’s family in Savannah, Georgia, where they raised and homeschooled their six children. Leading by example, Chris taught her children to glorify God and enjoy the blessings of family and God’s creation, whether on epic camping trips out West, at the beach, or in their own neighborhood.
In 2003, God fulfilled Chris’s dream of returning to Latin America, and the Marshall family moved to Costa Rica and then Chile to serve as missionaries for the next two years.
In 2009, Chris and David moved to Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating her youngest child from highschool, Chris devoted her time to tutoring, teaching Spanish in homeschool co-ops, and creating a restful retreat for her children and increasing number of grandchildren. She loved going for walks, studying the Bible, traveling with David, swimming, and sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, phone at the ready for a chat with her children, dad, siblings, or a friend.
For the last decade of her life, Chris prayed over and chose a “word of the year” along with a Scripture verse to focus on. Her word for 2021 was Hope, and the key verse was Psalm 39:7: “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee.”
Chris will be dearly missed by her husband David; children Emma (with husband Kevin), Anna (with husband Eric), Amy, Elsie (with husband Eric), Will (with wife Marianne), and Peter; grandchildren Josiah, Caedmon, Eleanor, Wesley, Eden, Madeleine, Nathaniel, James, Clifford, and Felicity; father James Acheson; and siblings Pam, Doug, and Melissa and their families; as well as many in-laws, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, and hundreds of people whose lives she touched. Chris is preceded in death by her mother, Kay Clouse Acheson, and her brother Jim.
Funeral service will be held at Bethel United Methodist Church (8405 Lima Rd) in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, May 18th at 11:00 a.m. Attendees are welcome to wear cheerful colors as a way of commemorating Chris's joyful attitude toward life and her hopeful outlook on death and Heaven. A graveside service will be held at Greenwich Cemetery (330 Greenwich Rd) in Savannah, Georgia on Friday, May 21st at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the Marshall family requests that donations be made to Compassion International, and that you consider sponsoring a child through this organization as a way to honor Chris’s memory.