Published: Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Marcia Saunders Moos was born June 22, 1922, in Leith, N.D., to Earnest T. and Minnie (Cowan) Saunders, who owned the general store there. She played the snare drum and was a cheerleader at Leith High School, graduating in 1940 as salutatorian of her class.
Marcia attended Dickinson (N.D.) State University and North Dakota State University in Fargo. She was initiated into Alpha Gamma Delta International Women's Fraternity there and was the only female in the NDSU marching band. She worked two jobs and undertook a third one in order to belong to her sorority. She then received a full scholarship to the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., where she earned a master's degree in nursing in 1945.
She married Lt. JG Theodore Charles Moos, DDS of Moorhead, Minn., at the Alameda Naval Air Station in Alameda, Calif., Feb. 28, 1946. They settled in Moorhead, where Ted took over his father's dental practice. They had two children.
In the 1950s, Marcia became director of nurses at St. John's Hospital in Fargo and taught in the school of nursing there. She belonged to the North Dakota Catholic Nurses Association and as president of this association.
In the 1960s Marcia went to the Fargo Veteran's Administration Hospital, where she began the first nursing home care unit in a VA hospital in the U.S. The American Journal of Nursing featured an article about her and the nursing home care unit. She was a pioneer in modern nursing home care and promoted quality of life.
She earned a master’s degree in education at NDSU and became the dean of the department of nursing there. After retirement from her nursing career she worked as a realtor and travel agent in the Fargo-Moorhead area. She also worked with her husband in his dental practice.
Marcia was a wearer of the Arc of Epsilon Pi with Diamonds of Alpha Gamma Delta, having served in local and province offices for over 30 years. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and served a term as South Dakota State Regent.
After her husband's retirement, they moved to Custer, S.D., in 1995. She was active in DAR and Eastern Star in Custer and a member of Custer Community Church.
She enjoyed grouse and duck hunting with her husband and family fishing trips in Minnesota. She was a Blue Bird leader and a Cub Scout leader while her children belonged to these organizations. She made bread every Saturday, the Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater cookie jar was always full of her wonderful chocolate chip cookies and each summer she added more tomato plants to her garden. She was an avid bridge player and an amateur photographer, printing her black and white film in her darkroom. She loved every dog she ever met, especially her Golden Retriever Fletcher, a show dog, who won many ribbons. She was a loving wife and mother and in spite of her career achievements, her family always came first.
Marcia died Aug. 24, 2012, at Custer Regional Senior Care. Her daughter had just finished reading the 23rd Psalm to her. She was 90.
Marcia was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Burleigh Saunders; and her husband, Theodore.
She is survived by her daughter, Pamela Moos (Charles) Cochran of Custer; son, Michael Saunders (Nancy Sparrow) Moos of St. Paul, Minn.; grandson, Chris (Kari) Shotley; two great-grandchildren, Cole and Reese of of West Fargo, N.D.; and several nieces and nephews in the Minneapolis, Minn., area.
A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 17 at Custer Community Church with Pastor Bill Comfort officiating.
Memorials may be sent to Custer Regional Senior Care Activities Dept., 1065 Montgomery St., Custer, SD 57730.
Written condolences may be made at www.mccolleyschapels.com.
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