Celebrating the Life of Marsha Stevens Bernard Kirkland

February 11, 1950~ February 1, 2021

Marsha Stevens Bernard Kirkland, age 70, of Natchitoches, Louisiana passed away peacefully into the arms of her Lord on Monday, February 1, 2021.

Her family will receive friends Friday, February 5, from 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm at First United Methodist Church- Crossroads. A service celebrating her life will be held Saturday, February 6 at 2:00 pm at First United Methodist Church- Crossroads, with interment to follow at Fern Park Cemetary. Funeral Viewing is available via Livestream @ https://www.Fumcnla.org , and services will be under Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home’s direction.

Marsha was a strong Christian woman, a nurturing and loving mother, an adoring and doting grandmother, and a beloved and faithful friend. She grew up in Natchitoches and graduated from Northwestern State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Children were her passion and her career. She dedicated the majority of her years as an educator to the Child Development Center at Northwestern State University.

Anyone, as committed to inspiring young children and college students as Marsha, should get a medal when they are alive, and trumpets are playing when they pass. In over thirty years in education, she influenced the lives of many families who were lucky enough to know “Mrs. Marsha “and even sometimes lovingly called “Mrs. Benarsha.” She created lifelong relationships that often lasted far beyond the time in her class. Marsha had a God-given gift for making each child feel loved and appreciated and had that “certain something” when interacting with young children and families.

Marsha was selfless to a fault and completely content behind the scenes. Her hospitality and humor made you feel welcomed and comfortable. She knew how to brighten someone’s day and make them feel loved and appreciated. Like McGuyver in the kitchen, she found creative ways to make household chores fun and loved a good garage sale!

Marsha was immensely proud and devoted to her family and left a legacy of selflessness and service. She learned well from her mother the fine art of being an awesome Mimi and embraced that role wholeheartedly. As a strong woman of faith, Marsha was an active member of the First United Methodist Church. She enjoyed her connection to her Koinonia Women’s group and Alpha Delta Kappa educational sorority.

We are grateful to know such a kind and selfless soul who embraced optimism, creativity, and humor every day. Her influence and sacrifice will be felt for generations.

Marsha is survived by her husband Leon Kirkland, her three daughters: Laurie Richard (Marc) of Colorado Spring, Colorado; Leah Bernard (Carl) of Natchitoches; and Becky Coffey (Steven) of Castor, LA, and the father of her daughters, John Bernard of Natchitoches. Sister Kay Knotts, of Natchitoches, and nephew Jeff Knotts. Also, ten grandchildren: Heather, Amber, Megan, Colby, Andrew, Joshua, Anna, Zachary, Nigel, and Finnly. Ten great-grandchildren: Savannah, Kayelee, Elijah, Nicholas, Hendrix, Brody, A’drick, Kayden, Emma, and Eli. Two stepchildren: Jason and Danaca; and eight step-grandchildren: Mallorye, Kailee, Jason, Christian, Shailyn, Jamison, Bentley, and Kelsey.

Marsha was a devoted daughter and is preceded in death by her parents Dr. Melvin and Ruth Stevens.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the:

NSU Foundation for the “Mrs. Marsha “
(Marsha Bernard Kirkland)
Playground Equipment Fund for the
Child Development Center,
535 University Parkway,
Natchitoches, LA 71497

Pall Bearers: Jeff Knotts, Jason Kirkland, Colby Session, Andrew Bernard, Joshua Coffey, Zachary Coffey, and Nigel Richard Honorary Pall Bearers: Hendrix, Christian, Jason, and Brody.

Marsha’s favorite quote:

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove… but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” ~ Forest Witcraft

Marsha is resting in peace, knowing that she was vital in generations of children’s lives.


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