With broken hearts, we announce the passing of our dear mother, Marsha Marie Morris Manolescu on Monday, December 26, 2022 at the age of 74.
Marsha is survived by her children Chris Manolescu, Trisha (Michael) James, Julie Manolescu, and Stacey Manolescu; her grandchildren Emmett, Brenna, and Meghan James; her brothers and their spouses, Bill (Donna), Frank Jr., Steven (Cindy), Peter (Susanne), and David (Lesley), numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews. Marsha was predeceased by her parents Frank and Dorothy Morris.
Marsha Marie was born in Toronto, Ontario and lived the majority of her life split between Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta. Growing up with five younger brothers, her life was full of wonderful adventures. Stories were often told about time together cuddling with their dog Max, suppers with their dad’s football crew, and fancy Friday night suppers with mom (while the boys had burgers and beans).
Marsha’s academic prowess was also obvious at an early age. Marsha created her neighbourhood leading library (with library cards and all) with her massive collection of books, tutored her five brothers when they needed that little bit of extra help, and, when her mom was teaching junior high social and English, pitched in with the marking. That academic aptitude continued beyond her formative years. Attending the University of Alberta, Marsha completed a year of pre-med before switching to law after a brutal skiing accident. She practiced law in Calgary for several years before starting a family.
Marsha was an amazing stay-at-home mom and took joy in blessing those around her as much as she could. She spent hours shuttling kids (not just her own) to and from parties, lessons, and sporting events all across the city. She volunteered in her children’s schools (she was always on the Parent Advisory Council), was the girls’ Girl Guide leader, and she was each one of her kid’s biggest cheerleader. She made her family’s home a beacon and a safe place for anyone who came through the door. Marsha was a second mom to so many!
When Marsha returned to practicing law, she found her niche in one of the most complex legal specialty areas – securities law. She studied, practiced, and perfected her knowledge of securities and became an expert in her craft. She formed many special friendships at work and cherished these relationships even into retirement.
Continuing her education in 2002, Marsha earned her Master of Laws degree all while helping Trish plan her wedding, sew the dresses, and host all the accompanying brunches and dinners. Upon her retirement in 2019, it quickly became evident it would take multiple bodies to replace her, her work ethic, and her wealth of knowledge.
Retiring was difficult for Marsha. She loved being busy and keeping her mind extra sharp. Once she was able to relax, she filled her days with her children, grandchildren, home-cooked meals, gardening, shopping, wonderful road trips, and endless adventures. In each of these, her family was always a constant.
She loved her children immensely. She revelled in any time spent with her kids, their friends or whomever was around. Whether on long road trips, at movie nights eating licorice, going for Dim Sum with her family, or having a backyard wiener roast with her grandkids, Marsha enjoyed it all. From the most extravagant gathering to the very simple, time with family was paramount and always filled her cup.
While she loved putting together a homemade meal, she truly enjoyed a night out for dinner. She often called last minute to coax her family to joining her for some good Italian, Greek, or Chinese food, even if there was good food at home in the oven. While these staples were the norm, Marsha was not one to shy away from trying something new. She passed on her adventurous culinary spirit to most of her children.
Marsha loved her grandkids and would never pass up a chance to spend time with them. They all learned how to grow plants in a garden from her and often were found travelling to the greenhouse to get the years supplies. Marsha always let the kids choose what they felt was beautiful, and that made it beautiful to her. Trips for ice cream or milkshakes were a given with Grandma, although she only ever chose the same two flavours- mint chocolate chip ice cream or a chocolate shake. She was always shocked by the grandkid’s colourful choices. Marsha had a fond love of music. Her grandkids will remember how much she loved to sing to them at bedtime (however the lyrics often varied each night, and rarely were correct).
Even in retirement, Marsha had a passion for passing on her years of knowledge. If you knew Marsha, you knew her love for baking. This was passed on to her own daughters and, more recently, passed onto her granddaughters (they absolutely loved her blueberry upside down cake). She even pulled out her very long-lost knitting skills when her beloved Brenna wanted to learn. Another love of hers was reading, and she loved to pass on that passion to her grandchildren. Books were a constant gift for them and a topic of conversation. Who knew a 74-year old would be so well-versed in children’s books and teenage literature?!
Marsha loved shopping and was always very generous with her gifts. Essentials were a given, but surprises were her specialty. Christmases and birthdays were always major events in her family. They always included amazing meals, time spent together and an abundance of thoughtfully chosen presents for every loved one.
Marsha also filled her time caring for others. She served for many years as a Girl Guide leader and as an active member of the IODE. Marsha was an advocate and avid supporter of many charities such as the YESS, the foodbank, various women’s shelters, and other organizations that support children and families in need. Marsha put together countless birthday bags, backpacks, and home-cooked meals for people she would never meet. Her giving nature and desire to meet practical needs for anyone who was in distress left an indelible impression on our world.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of the Misericordia ER and ICU for the incredible kindness and compassion you showed our mother in her final days. Your caring manner helped us immeasurably, because of you we will forever remember her beautiful face.
Mom, we will miss you forever. You were our champion, sounding board, care giver, and the light of our lives. Grandma, thank you for always taking time to ask and to listen – we will miss how you hung on our every word. Sister, thank you for being there for us and teaching us at so many points in our lives. Auntie, thank you for loving us as one of your own.
No one can replace the daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, colleague, and woman of honour you were to so many. We love you, Mom.
A Celebration of Life will be held January 3, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. at Park Memorial Chapel, 9709 – 111 Avenue, Edmonton. Cremation has taken place.
Those who knew Marsha, knew her generous heart and concern for others. To honour her, please consider making a financial donation to Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS), to the IODE Alberta Coronation Bursaries via e-transfer at IODEcanada@bellnet.ca or by bringing a non-perishable food item to the service.
Youth Empowerment and Support Services