Obituary of Judy Marshall

Judy (Woods) Marshall  died July 14, 2023, after a brave fight with cancer. Judy was born March 27, 1938 to Charles E. and Claybel (Houston) Woods in El Dorado, KS.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years Bob Marshall; three children Dana (Craig) McKenney of Fort Scott, Darcy Marshall of Houston TX, and Dirk Marshall, also of Houston; and her brother Ray Woods of Independence, KS.

Although she was known as Grannie Karate Chop for her fearless enforcement of dining table etiquette, Judy also loved and was loved by her seven grandchildren Reece McKenney, Drew Suddock, Neely Stuart (Laith), Kyle Moore, Cole Gaston, Parker McKenney (deceased), and Angie McKenney, and her three great grandchildren Kieran Houlihan, Colin Houlihan, and Joyce Stuart.

She grew up riding horses and playing tennis and golf.

Judy attended the University of Kansas and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Only rarely did she get up on a chair at the dinner table and sing Kappa songs. She graduated from KU with a degree in English.

She won a short-story writing competition sponsored by the Kansas City Star and twice won statewide short-story competitions in North Carolina. She was the author of two books: Ride a Hole Through the Wind (young adult fiction) and Legends and Lore of Bourbon County.

(Proceeds from the sale of the latter book go to the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation.).

Judy raised three children who love her and already miss her dearly. When her children were young, she was active in the Junior League of Kansas City, performing for years in their Children’s Theater productions and also providing volunteer physical therapy for disabled children.

She took up racquetball and won several trophies – those trophies are still prominently displayed in her home. Her husband’s boxes and boxes of handball and football and basketball and baseball trophies are somewhere but we’re not sure where.

Judy appointed herself Assistant Athletic Director at Fort Scott Community College from 2003-2008 – while her husband served as the official Athletic Director and also Assistant State Senator in Topeka while her husband served as a Kansas State Senator from 2008-2012.

She was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Big Brother Big Sisters organization in Fort Scott and loved being a member of the local Rotary Club. She was a regular at Nu Grille for lunch.

She loved her Kansas Jayhawks. In Allen Field House she let Bobby Knight know he was doing a fine job commenting on the games, while offering helpful if unwanted advice to others, like Fran Fraschilla and Dick Vitale, who were, in her opinion, too distracted and distracting.

Judy loved Fort Scott, KS, her adopted hometown and never met a stranger in town.

The family thanks all  in Fort Scott for being a part of the community that meant so much to her and brought her so much happiness.

Thank you to the cowboys who endured her unsolicited advice on how to run a cattle operation. Judy named the cows she and Bob raised – Esther Williams was her most beloved cow. She was great at taking care of the animals; not so great at getting them sold at the Fort Scott sale barn.

Judy was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Scott.

Pastor Christopher Eshelman from the First United Methodist Church will conduct a memorial service at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday, July 19th at the First Presbyterian Church, 308 S. Crawford, Ft. Scott, Kansas.  The family will receive friends from 10:00 A.M. until service time on Wednesday in the church parlor.

In keeping with her spirit, please come dressed casually. Farming clothes such as overalls and crimson and blue KU clothes will be most welcome; KSU Wildcat purple will be tolerated.

Private burial will take place at a later date in the U. S. National Cemetery in Ft. Scott.

To honor her memory,  contributions can be sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or to the Fort Scott Community Foundation; or to the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Scott and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701.

Special thanks to the staff at the Nu Grille diner downtown for entertaining and being entertained by Judy day in and day out for so many years.

Thanks also to the caring staff of Gentiva Hospice of Pittsburg, Kansas.

And finally a special thanks to the wonderful nurses and staff at Presbyterian Village who loved Judy and called her Sweet Pea and took “brilliant” care of her in her final months.

Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

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