Liz Marchi: Family, Seasons and Change


My husband, turned 70 a few weeks ago, at what may have been one of my top 10 parties ever.  Not because the party was perfect but because we shared that day with friends and family, old and new, for a good swath of the country.  This week we have our German nephew, Dustin, and his adorable Josie and Baby Bella Jon with us at the ranch.  Dustin lived with us for several months right after we were married.  He was a young teen.  Now he is wonderful, kind father and teacher.

We spent the weekend in Hamilton, Montana celebrating the life of Jon’s Mom, Joan Trimble Marchi Toole, whom we lost in November at 92.  She had wanted a summer burial beside her husband, K. Ross Toole who has been gone far too long.   I never knew him.  Jon is the oldest of the Toole, Marchi clan.  Eight adult children, many grandchildren, step grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Her wisdom prevails.  The “cousins”, many of whom had never met, were the centerpiece of the event.  Not the siblings with all the differently lenses through which they viewed the same events.  It was fun but exhausting.   The weather was spectacular; the graveside service was simple and sweet. Beautiful wildflowers and lavender adorned the gravesite.


Dustin and Uncle Jon

Everyone present took a different meaning and experience away from that day.  But we are, like so many, part of family, the emotional foundation from which we either flee or flourish.

I am on the way to Alabama to see my Mom and Dad.  As they age, and with each trip, I am trying hard to be kind, to listen to them and my siblings.  I should be long past the time of the emotional ground zero that is family.  In her wisdom, Joan knew that generations heal.  At the end of life for her it wasn’t about the many accomplishments and educational attainments in her life but about the children and young adults.

Rest in peace.




Liz-MarchiLiz Marchi lives on a ranch in Polson, Montana  with her husband Jon. She is the Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund and spends a lot of time thinking and learning about entrepreneurs, the economy and Montana’s unique place in the world. She has three daughters and a stepson and daughter and a grandchild.  She graduated from Hollins College and is entering the final quarter of life…unless we go into overtime.