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In Memoriam - Marcella Summers Harding

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    In Memoriam - Marcella Summers Harding

    Mrs. Marcella Eileen Summers Harding, 89, died June 18th at Edgewood, Kentucky. She was born in Cincinnati on September 4, 1918, the daughter of Everett and Luella Menke Summers. Luella was the only sister to the five Menke brothers who, at various times, operated 7 showboats on the Ohio, Mississippi and any other rivers deep enough to float a showboat.

    Marcy was another of those wonderful river people who were happy to give, sharing generously of her time and memorabilia. I greatly enjoyed her stories of traveling on the river with her uncles during summer vacations from school. She treasured a photo, showing her at age 3, aboard the NEW SENSATION. In one of our many conversations she told me that her favorite trips were aboard the HOLLYWOOD on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Marcy revered her uncles, making frequent trips to St. Louis to visit them after the GOLDENROD was permanently moored there in 1937. And when Capt. Charlie, the last of the Menke brothers, left the GOLDENROD in 1975, Marcy and her husband, Bill, moved him to their home in Park Hills, Kentucky, where he lived until his passing in 1978.

    Marcy was a retired registered nurse for the Northern Kentucky Health District. She was a member of the Altar Society of St. Agnes Church, Fort Wright, Kentucky, from whence her funeral Mass will be conducted on Saturday, July 5th. A fine lady departed to glory and yet another link to past times on the river gone. May she rest in peace.

    The photos herewith: Marcy with uncles Capts. Ben and Bill Menke in the 1940's on the SHOWBOAT GOLDENROD at St. Louis; seated on a timberhead aboard the GOLDENROD with the Eads Bridge in the background in the 1940's -- with a tiny bit of the sternwheel of the Str. GOLDEN EAGLE in view -- and a snapshot of Marcy and yours truly looking at an album of showboat pictures and ephemera taken, during a July, 1999 visit, by Judy Patsch. The wooden acorn on the coffee table once graced a hogchain post atop the GOLDENROD.
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    #2
    It's hard to believe it was 9 years ago that we visited her. She was indeed so willing to share her memories and memorabilia with river people. And notice in the picture the pillows: she was also a cat lover.

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      #3
      My last visit with Marcy was with Capt. Bill and Becky Ray a couple of years ago. Although her failing hearing made phone conversations impossible, we kept in touch by mail and she was always eager for news of the GOLDENROD.

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