Marsha Durst, 65, of Mantorville, died peacefully at her home in hospice care on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. Through her life, she gave the world as much color and beauty as the flower gardens that she adored. Marsha Jean Anderst was born on Feb. 16, 1951, in Fairmont, Minn., to Roland and Dorothy Anderst, who farmed on the outskirts of town. She had many fond memories of growing up with her two sisters, Leann and Cheryl. She attended Fairmont public schools and graduated in 1969 from Fairmont Senior High School with high honors. From there, she attended and earned a B.A. teaching degree (summa cum laude) at Concordia College in St. Paul and taught first grade at Rochester Central Lutheran School in Rochester. On June 12, 1976, she married Ron Durst at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Rochester. They lived briefly in Illinois after the wedding, where she was a department store office manager. In 1978, along with Ron and his brothers, Marsha helped form Durst Bros., a dairy and grain farm north of Mantorville. Over the next 40 years, she helped modernize and grow the business to be one of the largest dairy operations in the state of Minnesota — starting with 112 cows and reaching more than 1,800 dairy cows and 3,000 acres of crops. As the farm matured, her primary role was chief financial officer, but over the years she did everything from milking cows, heifer checks, herd records to safety management, as well as planning birthday and other celebrations for every employee. Marsha truly believed each member of Durst Bros. was family. When not busy at the farm, she volunteered at and was a substitute teacher at Kasson-Mantorville Schools. She enjoyed family activities, church, gardening, movies, reading, her Red Hat Society, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, traveling, following her children's activities, and especially working with her beloved husband, Ron, throughout her life. They were a team that worked well together, and had a passion for life, no matter the challenges they faced. She is survived by her husband, Ron; daughter, Elizabeth; son, Jonathan; mother, Dorothy; sister, Leann, and sister, Cheryl, and their families. She was preceded in death by two stillborn sons; her father, Roland Anderst; father-in-law, Victor Durst; and mother-in-law, Hylah Durst. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at St. John's Lutheran Church, 301 Eighth Ave. NW, Kasson, and Saturday for one hour prior to the service. Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at St. John's Lutheran Church. Following the service will be a lunch memorial celebration, and burial procession to Pine Island Cemetery. We'd like to celebrate Marsha with all the color and beauty she inspired in each of us — guests are encouraged to wear bright or floral clothing, as well as providing flowers that can be used for both days of services at the church. Her favorite color is fuchsia pink. Marsha requested that any donations in her in name be made to the American Cancer Society to honor her battle against multiple myeloma. Arrangements are with the Mahn Family Funeral Home - Mahler Chapel in Pine Island.
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