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Remembering Longtime Volunteer Marsha Peone

This fall we lost our good friend, longtime PPCWNY volunteer Marsha Peone, to a tough-fought battle with cancer. Although other valued PPCWNY supporters have passed away, this situation is unique. Marsha volunteered for 25-plus years, throughout my entire tenure as Volunteer Program Manager. We worked together for all that time.

A dedicated volunteer, onetime NOW president, social justice advocate, Planned Parenthood advocacy award recipient, donor and PPANY (now PPESA) member, and Rochester resident, Marsha was also a co-founder of a local knitting group of Planned Parenthood friends and activists. (The “knit wits,” as they initially called themselves, gather weekly to engage in lively discussions on current events, social and reproductive justice issues, and life in general — all while knitting cool stuff.)

Among the many volunteer roles Marsha held over the years at Planned Parenthood were Health Center Assistant, “bus captain” for the March for Women’s Lives (along with daughter Tricia), and Health Center Escort. She also volunteered for special projects and participated in rallies, events, and advocacy trips to Albany. Most recently, she served as Lead Escort trainer. Many of you who are currently volunteering or on the escort roster were trained by or shared a shift with Marsha at the University Ave. location in Rochester. A shift with her was always entertaining, thanks to her humor, knowledge of Planned Parenthood’s core issues, and resiliency to protestor activity.

During her remission, Marsha would pop in at PPCWNY to check on things, discuss the state of the union, say hello to her escort volunteers, and occasionally pick up a shift, with the hope and promise she would “be back” to help when and where it was needed.

In the end, her passing was quick, and all who were close to her were devasted. She will be and is greatly missed. In tribute, I am choosing to donate $25 in Marsha’s name, symbolic of her 25-plus years of volunteer service, to PPCWNY. This small gesture is my way of saying thank you, Marsha and lifting up the great impact she had on our mission. If you would like to donate in her name, you can do so here.

May Marsha rest now in great peace, feeling good about the midterms. I will miss her enormously, but I know her spirit lives on through all those who volunteer for and are dedicated to PPCWNY.

Click here to read Marsha’s obituary.

-Kathy Pexton