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Marsha A. Echols, 78, teacher and school administrator

Sept. 18, 1939 – Jan. 1, 2018

Marsha A. Echols, of East Amherst, a retired Buffalo teacher and school administrator, died on New Year’s Day. She was 78.

Born in Buffalo, the third of eight children in one of the most prominent families on the city’s East Side, she attended city schools and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State College, completing the four-year program in three years.

Ms. Echols began her 35-year career in the Buffalo schools as a fifth-grade teacher at School 19. She was assistant principal of School 51 Black Rock Academy when she retired in the mid 1990s.

She was a lifelong member of First Shiloh Baptist Church, where she was baptized by her grandfather, the Rev. Elijah J. Echols Sr., pastor from 1918 to 1961. Her father, the Rev. Elijah J. Echols Jr., succeeded him in 1962 and was pastor until his death in 1984.

Ms. Echols assisted her father in many church projects, taking up hammers and paint brushes for repairs and renovations. She was noted for her decorations of the church for holidays and special events.

As a member of the church’s Historical Committee, she applied her skills of organization to compile and archive the history of the church.

Her hobbies included cooking, gardening, crossword puzzles, listening to gospel music and watching sports. She also enjoyed playing the piano and tennis.

Survivors include a brother, Elijah J. III; three sisters, Cynthia J. Bohannon, Judith M. and Sharon K. Kelly; and a special niece, Dr. Arline D. Bohannon-Barr.

Services were held Saturday in First Shiloh Baptist Church, 15 Pine St.

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