Theodora (Marsha) Marshall Patterson Conn passed away on July 4, 2021 amid the fireworks and fanfare of the Coronado 4th of July celebratory weekend, undoubtedly Marsha’s favorite holiday of all. She was born in Phoenix, Az. on April 20, 1943 to Theodora Marshall Cameron Patterson and Edward Raphael Patterson.
A 1961 graduate of Coronado High School, she went on to Stephen’s College in Missouri and graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1966. Shortly thereafter, she became the Charge Nurse on the 10th floor where she continued to work as the Floor Manager until her retirement in 1999.
Marsha was an outstanding leader and mentor for the nurses who worked with her. There was no end to the laudatory words of praise for this amazing woman. She was a strong and passionate leader whose mission was to teach her staff in providing optimal patient care even under the most difficult of circumstances. Of note, Marsha could undoubtedly be formidable at times in her quest for outstanding nursing care and wouldn’t hesitate to correct or educate as needed. As part of her responsibilities, she was Chair of Mercy Nurses Image Committee whose goal was to improve the working conditions of all Mercy nurses. She made a difference in how nurses were treated at Mercy Hospital.
After attending classes at UCSD, Marsha set up the specialized Neurosurgical unit on the 10th floor under the direction of Dr. Sam Assam, her mentor and friend. When she retired from Mercy, she took on the role as manager of Neurosurgical Medical Clinic where she worked for a few years before retiring. Throughout her career, she arranged numerous special birthdays, Christmas, and other events, all engendered by delicious food and laughter. Many nurses felt that their identity, values. and ethics stemmed from Marsha’s careful tutelage. One nurse wrote, “She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.” Another stated, “I am brave and not afraid because of you.” Her staff became her children and dear friends; for many years she continued to arrange annual events, bringing together her former staff members who had kept in constant contact with Marsha after her retirement and during her rehabilitation from a stroke.
Marsha loved to travel and ventured off to Japan and the far East in the 1960s. There were other exotic stateside and European trips which Marsha throughly enjoyed. She was an excellent racquetball player and wonderful cook. Needless-to-say, she loved her dogs who were never far from her side.
Marsha is survived by her husband Peter Conn, her sister-in law Susy Patterson, her nephew Sean Patterson and his family Serena, Mason, and Curren, and cousins Patricia Shean who resides in San Francisco, Garret Shean who resides in Italy and Karen Laurenti who resides in San Carlos, Ca. She was predeceased by her brother Edward Patterson.
Services will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Coronado for family and friends. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Christ Episcopal Church.