Doyle Barnes Marsh

Born in Cookeville, TN on December 31, 1930

Departed on March 16, 2020 and resided in Gallatin, TN

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Mr. Doyle Barnes Marsh age 89, of Gallatin, TN, passed away on Monday, March 16, 2020.

Mr. Marsh was born in Cookeville, TN, on December 31, 1930, the son of Wesley Marsh and Ann Virginia Hawkins Marsh. He graduated from Peabody College earning his master of music. Mr. Marsh was Hendersonville High School’s first band director and founder of the Band of Gold. Also, he was a band director at White House High School and retired from Hunter Middle School. He was a very talented musician and song writer. Mr. Marsh was a member of Hendersonville Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In addition to his parents, Mr. Marsh was preceded in death by a brother, John Marsh.

Survivors include his wife, Ernestine Derting Marsh, to whom he was married on December 23, 1952; three children, Kenneth Marsh (Ella), Mary Charles Stewart (John Stidham), and John Marsh (Lisa); seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Entombment services will be held Monday, March 23, 2020, at 11:00 A.M., Hendersonville Chapel of Memories.

Gathering of Family & Friends will be held Sunday from 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. at Hendersonville Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests memorial contributions be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 4825 Trousdale Drive, Suite 220, Nashville, TN 37220.

Visit the online obituary to post tributes and share memories.

52 Comments to Doyle Barnes Marsh

  1. Barb walker
    March 17, 2020 6:38 pm

    Prayers for you all-

  2. Wilma Jean Marsh Greene
    March 17, 2020 6:54 pm

    I am so sorry to hear my dear cousin passed. I always loved and and admired him. May the Lord bless his children and dear wife.

  3. Sherry Greer Tolli
    March 17, 2020 7:49 pm

    So sorry to hear about Mr. Marsh’s passing. He had such an impact on my life. Starting with me wanting to play trumpet and he suggested the clarinet. Started in the band in 7th grade and still remember my uniform number 55. Have the family in my prayer!

  4. Linda Reeder
    March 17, 2020 8:40 pm

    Mr Marsh was my very favorite. I was a member of his Band of Gold at Hendersonville High. Such a kind and patient man. My condolences to his Ernestine and family. All of us loved Mr. Marsh…

    • Linda Meier Brown
      March 17, 2020 9:15 pm

      I was in the very first Band of Gold formed by Doyle Marsh and he was such a wonderful leader. He touched the lives of so many band members over the years. He was my all time favorite teacher and he will always be dear in my memory. My condolences to his family.

  5. Leslie Lauper
    March 17, 2020 8:40 pm

    Prayers for peace and comfort during this time. Love you all.

  6. Janet Adams Gammon
    March 17, 2020 9:14 pm

    Prayers for the family. I loved being a member of the Band of Gold.

  7. Linda Stockman
    March 17, 2020 9:14 pm

    Prayers for you Mary, my dear friend and all the family. A warm hug for your sweet Mom.

  8. Jean Nichles
    March 17, 2020 9:21 pm

    Doyle, was a rock of the Marsh family. He was the one who always got our family reunion together, also ran our family tree. He will be missed . I remember when Uncle Wesley and Aunt Annie V. Would bring Doyle and John to grandma Marshs house , which was out in the country,( and they lived in the city of Cookeville ), John and Doyle loved the country uncle Wesley would not let them out of his sight,

    He was a very particular eater, and had to know who cooked it before he ate. God bless sweet Ernestine and family. I loved my cousin Doyle🙏🏻❤️❤️❤️🤗

  9. Debi Pendleton Villines
    March 17, 2020 9:25 pm


  10. Terry Crunk
    March 17, 2020 10:48 pm

    Johnny and Kenneth, so sorry about your dad, I remember he and my dad Jack playing music at your house on several occasions. Good times for all of us. Dads been gone 20 years now but the memories live on. Prayers for your family.

  11. Dr. Jeff Phillips, HHS Director of Bands
    March 17, 2020 11:14 pm

    It was an honor to know Mr. Marsh and follow in his footsteps!

  12. Janet Floyd
    March 17, 2020 11:22 pm

    My deepest sympathy and love, my dear friend, Mary. You and your family are in my heart and prayers.

  13. Ted Duley
    March 18, 2020 1:33 am

    RIP Mr. Marsh and condolences to the family. You put up with a lot from us (me) and I hope you know how much you positively touched each of us (me). Thanks for the many hours arranging the latest Pop music hits, encouraging non-traditional marching band and making us proud of ourselves (marching band and blue ribbons at MTSBOA). You exemplified the true meaning of “teacher”.

  14. Eddie Davis
    March 18, 2020 7:04 am

    I’m very sorry to hear of your dad’s passing.
    What a great man , enjoy the many great times & memories with him. Prayers for all of you 🙏🏽

  15. Suzanne
    March 18, 2020 9:04 am

    Thoughts and prayers for you Mary, my friend, and your family. May God comfort you during this time.

  16. Mike Benson
    March 18, 2020 10:40 am

    Mary and family,

    I remember your dad and the HHS Band of Gold. What a wonderful investment your dad made in so many individually and into our community there in Hendersonville in general. He helped to build that community for the good. My prayers will be added to the many concerning his death. It is never easy. God is faithful to us all.

    Mike Benson
    Class of ‘73

  17. Bill McMinn
    March 18, 2020 11:58 am

    I met Doyle in 1966 when I was a rookie band director in Gallatin. What a lovely guy, a great teacher, and just a wonderful person. He left a positive mark on students where ever he taught. Wrote some good songs too. I especially remember one about a band bus, and “The Days of Sand and Shovels”. Rest in peace my old friend.

  18. Sherry Cantrell
    March 18, 2020 12:01 pm

    John and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family at this difficult time.

  19. Sherry Cantrell
    March 18, 2020 12:02 pm

    Johnny and family, so sorry for your loss. Prayers for comfort and peace at this difficult time.

  20. Melinda Sisco Loxley
    March 18, 2020 12:14 pm

    Mr. Marsh had such a positive impact on so many lives. His influence still lives on each each life he touched. Johnny, Lisa, Mary and Kenneth, I am so sorry for your loss.

  21. Christy (Barry) Holtz
    March 18, 2020 2:39 pm

    We loved you, Mr Marsh…you taught us to appreciate music, not just listen to it 💙

  22. bill and bennie mariel wilhite
    March 18, 2020 3:23 pm

    bill and bennie marie wilhite franklin, tn This is a very sad day for me—we were like brothers—and lived a few houses away growing up together—doyle and brother john were like brothers to me who went to grade school together all the way to high school central high class of 1949.. thank you very much Lisa for keeping us up dated bill and bennie marie

    • Mary Charles
      March 18, 2020 6:47 pm

      Hey Billy-my dad loved you like a brother. He told me long ago you were his lifelong friend. He enjoyed his regular phone calls the two of you had. Thank you for being his bestie all these years.

  23. Yvette Kerr Turner
    March 18, 2020 3:42 pm

    Johnny so sorry to hear about your dad. He was a great person and I have such great memories with him as band director. Prayers for you and your family at this difficult time.

  24. Donna Thomas
    March 18, 2020 3:56 pm

    Kenneth and Johnny, so very sorry for your loss. Take care.

  25. Ernie Soyars
    March 18, 2020 4:17 pm

    I don’t have to tell you how much your dad meant to me. I remember the last time we recorded 3years ago. He was the same good man that taught me how to play music. He convinced me that I had a career in music

  26. Tim smith
    March 18, 2020 5:36 pm

    So sad to hear of his passing I was s student of his for three years at White House high school had so much fun in band.

  27. John Hall
    March 18, 2020 5:56 pm

    Mr March was a laid back cool dude. I never was in the band, but his marching bands put on a show during Football games games RIP

  28. Jerry Kirtley
    March 18, 2020 6:00 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Marsh’s passing.
    He was directly responsible for giving me a place of refuge by allowing me to join the band in the 7th grade. I was a small 90 pound runt that moved to a downtown Nashville school in September of my 8th grade year.
    I was in for a huge culture shock and was truly intimidated by the student body. That is until I went to my first band class in the new school. Thank God I could play the trumpet…thanks to Mr. Marsh, I found a place to fit in. Everyone Loved him and it saddens me that I missed the opportunity to tell him how he changed/saved my life!
    Rest In Peace Mr. Marsh…

  29. Sonny Moseley
    March 18, 2020 9:24 pm

    We rarely get time to do everything we want to do in this world, so we have to make choices about how we spend our time. Doyle would always take time to stop whatever he was doing to say hello or chat about whatever was going on recently. A friendly wave or advice on whatever new project we had going on. Doyle would always spend a little extra time, which was comforting when everyone around you is always in a hurry. A good neighbor is a blessing. Doyle Marsh was a great neighbor whom my family feel grateful to have known. My deepest condolences to the Marsh family.

  30. Marjorie Minoux
    March 18, 2020 10:27 pm

    My thoughts and Prayers are with you, Mary and your dear family.

  31. Cheryl Huber
    March 18, 2020 11:25 pm

    Mary and John, so sorry for your loss! My heart breaks for you. Prayers and love sent to your way!
    Cheryl Huber

  32. Louis Oliver, III. HHS class of 1966
    March 19, 2020 12:17 am

    It was my honor to have been a member of the original HHS Band of Gold directed by Mr. Marsh. He was a great band director and teacher that favorably impacted many young lives in the Hendersonville community. May God bless the Marsh family.

  33. bill Sisco
    March 19, 2020 3:45 am

    John, Mary, and Ken. My heart goes
    out to Ya’ll. Your Dad was my Teacher, Mentor, but mostly my Freind. I look forward to playing in His Band of Gold in the next World!

  34. Bill Sisco
    March 19, 2020 3:52 am

    Mary, Ken and John. My heart goes out to You. Your Dad was my Teacher, Mentorbut mostly my Freind. I lookforward to playing in His Band of Gold in the next World!

  35. john hawkins
    March 19, 2020 2:01 pm

    Kenneth, Mary Charles, and Johnny, it was still such a shock to get the text message and calls from you when your Dad passed. I know just last week you were somewhat expecting this, but Johnny, just as we talked about, it was still so hard to accept. Dad and Doyle were so close, and I know each other’s best buds. I remember at Dads funeral; how hard it was for Doyle to accept.
    They would talk about years gone by, as they got older, and told of stories from years ago when dad would spend time in Cookeville, and when Doyle moved to Akron and lived with us for awhile while looking for work.
    As extended family goes, yours was always Sherry and I’s favorite. My first trip by myself, out of Ohio was to Nashville to visit you. It was around the time of “Sand and Shovels” just getting airtime. Doyle picked me up at the airport in his new Lincoln. My first thought was “writing music sure does pay well”. I was so proud, I thought this was my cousin, and this was his Lincoln and he writes country music. That same trip gave me some other memories. I met Bud Reneau, who co-wrote Sand and Shovels with your Dad. I met the writer of Charlie Prides “Is anybody going to San Antone”, while at RCA’s studio. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that I didn’t care much for that song, but I was meeting famous people. That trip also enabled me to meet Johnny Cash’s sister Reba, while at Cash’s, House of Cash publishing. Your dad had done some sheet music work for Johnny and had to drop it off and pick up some music.
    You were living on Shackle Island at the time. It was there that I shot, for the first time a 12 gauge. In the middle of that long driveway, Doyle handed me that piece of machinery and gave me a sixty second lesson on shooting it and then stepped back. I fired it. I think I landed about 25 feet back from where I started. He didn’t tell me about the kick back it had or how it would dislocate my shoulder. I still see him laughing so hard that he had tears in his eyes.
    I loved him. He was my go-to for anything to do with family history. He told me stories of my Dad, and my grandpa, your “Uncle Noah”. Your Grannie. He knew everything and very seldom needed to look it up. It was in his head. He could look at a picture and tell you instantly who it was.
    I’ll miss him. Hell, I miss him already. He’s with Dad now. The family in God’s care, is growing again. They welcomed him, at Gods pearly gates, when he arrived. Probably in a new Lincoln.
    Words that I love, and what I try to tell everyone who loses a loved one are, “Memories are a gift from God, that death cannot destroy”. Treasure all the good times. It won’t be long, in Gods timeline, that we’ll be reunited with him, and all our loved ones forever.
    R I P Cuz

  36. Vicki Russell Pruitt
    March 19, 2020 6:13 pm

    To Mr. Marsh’s family :
    Sandra Roberts and I want to extend our condolences for your loss of such a wonderful man. We we’re lucky enough to be with him when he started ” The Band Of Gold” at Hendersonville High School. We were their first band and it was due to Mr. Marsh that our band received many awards at band contests,. We made a vinyl record of our band. We have treasured it through the years. We were called ” Band Candies ” because we sold candy for the band. Sandra was talented and played clarinet, bassoon and Bell Lyre . I struggled with the French horn. I don’t know how Mr. Marsh survived us playing out of tune. Sometimes he would just pull at his hair and shout at us to stop playing ! He was so patient with us and we all loved him. I agree with Louis Oliver ,IiI that Mr. Marsh helped so many kids in our community. What a great legacy. Vicki Russell PRUITT, H.H.S. Class of 1966

  37. Charles Trent
    March 19, 2020 8:23 pm

    My best wishes and thoughts to the Marsh family. Mr. Marsh was a well of inspiration and love.
    Peace & Love

  38. Kay McDougal Franklin
    March 19, 2020 9:36 pm

    My condolences to your family. Your Dad was such a great guy and made a great contribution to our community. He was one of the good ones!

  39. Marileen McKee Knisley
    March 20, 2020 11:53 am

    I am so saddened to hear of your loss. Mr Marsh was caring enough to make me feel I could do anything. He gave me the confidence I needed to try! Other than my Momma, no one else could do this. Even tho I wanted to play the clarinet, he encouraged me to play the flute and later piccolo. He instilled in us the feeling of music and his love for it shone through to us. We wanted to play well because of him. May sweet memories carry you through this time of loss until you will be with him again. Prayers.

  40. Lana Arnold
    March 20, 2020 12:24 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. The last time I saw Mr. Marsh was a class reunion. Danny and I gave the DJ. a CD of a song Mr. Marsh wrote and produced that Kenny and Danny recorded with their band. He smiled and said “that should have been a hit.” He was my home room teacher also. Great man.

  41. Shirley Derting Grubbs
    March 20, 2020 5:55 pm

    Doyle was my brother-in-law, as I am Ernestine’s sister. Ernestine and I were born in rural East Tennessee, where there were few social contacts and almost no entertainment. Because of physical problems, our father wanted to move to a warmer climate, and chose Sarasota, Florida. Siesta Key, yet! There was the most beautiful beach just across the road! There were kids! Fearing negative peer influences, our parents didn’t want us mixing and mingling. Ernestine was much more obedient than I, and the favorite child. She never had a girlfriend or boyfriend, or wanted to do something so evil such as go to a movie. After graduating high school, she went to Bethel College in McKenzie, TN, which belonged to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. There she met Doyle Marsh. I am almost certain that he was her first-ever date. She was always totally devoted to him, and I feel that he gave her a happy life. Thank you, Doyle!!

  42. Ben Hix
    March 20, 2020 6:18 pm

    To Mr. Doyles wife Christine and children,

    I am saddened by your loss. I regret that I did not get to communicate more with my cousin Doyle in the last few years.
    I was kept up to date by my aunt Thelma Ramsey, your neighbor, who passed as well recently. We found we were related through Noah Hawkins and the Moss side of our families. I reside in Gainesboro (Jackson County), Tennessee

    Ben Hix & Family

  43. Stephanie Stewart Smith
    March 21, 2020 3:08 pm

    To the Marsh Family: I hope that heaven is full of Krispie Kremes and milk because I know Mr. Marsh enjoyed them so much! My sympathy to the family.

  44. Mike Fleming, Class of 65
    March 21, 2020 5:17 pm

    I was in the initial Band of Gold , band practice and “Mr. Marsh” was the highlight of the day. When we went to our first contest, having no idea of what to do, he assured us to just do our best, which we did, and we came home with an “A”. After that, we usually came home with top honors. He was not only a top musician but someone to respect and attempt to emulate.
    To this day, when I hear someone hit a wrong note, my mind flashes back to Mr. Marsh and his momentary eyebrows rising and smile. As I write this, I’m listening to the Band of Gold’s LP.
    My condolences not only to Mrs. Marsh and family but, to the Band of Gold family as well.

  45. Carole Lannom
    March 22, 2020 5:38 pm

    So sorry to learn of Doyle’s passing. My husband John T. Lannom, is related to both Doyle and Thelma Ramsey. through the Hawkins line. Both Doyle and Thelma shared a lot of Hawkins history and genealogy with us. Doyle put together some exciting family reunions at Jackson Co., Fairgrounds where we met a lot of ‘cousins’.

    Our Condolences to the Marsh family and Ernestine.

  46. Sue (Lannom) Miller
    March 22, 2020 7:54 pm

    I was deeply saddened to learn of Doyle’s passing today. What a wonderful person, who really enjoyed genealogy /family history. I am related to Doyle and Thelma Ramsey through the Hawkins line. He was responsible for our first reunion many years ago at Gainesboro, Tn. We had more than one, but had it not been for our first one, I would never met many of my relatives, including Dole. Yes, he had his stories and we communicated a lot on the computer. Funny, how it takes nearly a lifetime to met special people. I share your loss of this talented man, husband, father, g-father and g-g grandfather. May the prayers of many lessen your sorrow.

  47. John Stidham
    March 24, 2020 11:47 am

    Now that the services are over and the families and friends have returned home I felt that the time for me was clearer to reflect on just a few of my memories of this influential man.
    Doyle Marsh definitely held some serious influences in my life as I look back. I am guilty in this case of waiting too long or too late in expressing my gratitude or simply saying “Thank You” for helping mold me into a man and teaching me about responsibility and teamwork through music and hard work.
    I met Doyle Marsh as with many in the band and his impact on me was immediate. Structured practices and hours of what seemed like endless marching and formations were now the new normal and for a rambunctious teen with whom now would have surely been been diagnosed with some attention deficit disorder a welcomed addition.
    What at times seemed like torture ultimately paid off ten fold with our dream trip to THE ORANGE BOWL and a Nationally televised spotlight for the entire City of Hendersonville. Without a doubt this ranks in the Top Ten achievements of my life.
    Thank you sir for a lifetime of memories and stories as a result of that trip.

    Over the past decade I have been given the honor to spend real quality time with this unique individual and over the past decade and before his illness shared true life moments.
    I watched him write songs still hoping for that one last hit. I witnessed him enjoy his children and grandchildren and it was easy to see the love he felt for them as they played. I saw the man that taught me not only the trumpet but also the meaning of camaraderie with my fellow man.
    I witnessed this man express his love for his family and friends and for his beloved BAND OF GOLD. His wry smile was evident right up until the end and I will miss our times together.
    To the Family I send my love. I will hold the memory of Doyle Marsh in my heart, soul and mind forever.
    Rest in Eternal Peace.

  48. Eddie Reasoner
    March 24, 2020 11:15 pm

    Kenneth, Mary Charles, John and Family- I have often thought of your Father and what an early influence he was to not only me and my years of being in Music but so many others. He was a top notch professional, mentor and teacher above and beyond . Under his guidance I was able to.march in the Orange Bowl in Miami. Play in the Stage Band and even tag along with a bari sax that was bigger than I was in a little jazz ensemble he had put together. Little did I know at the time he would embark me on a musical journey – I career and adventure of a lifetime that would include people and places that I couldn’t even dream of at the time. Doyle Marsh was the best of the best and I am saddened by this news of his passing, He mentored many in this days of sand and shovels and I know he is surely playing with a heavenly band of Angels with Gods Band of Gold. My sincere condolences to all of you. What a great Man Mister Marsh was.

  49. Anita Carr Lovin (Susie Carr)
    March 25, 2020 12:00 am

    Condolences to the family. I was an original member of the Band of Gold. What a wonderful time in my life. He came in and in no time created a masterpiece. I had never seen anyone so talented, caring and hardworking. I couldn’t read music and had never picked up an instrument. I became an excellent clarinet player in speed time. No one else could have done what he did and I doubt if there is anyone now that could do what he did. I will always admire and love Doyle Marsh. Rest in peace wonderful man.

  50. Debbie grushon
    March 26, 2020 10:10 pm

    Mr. Marsh, such a gentleman, who actually invited me to join the band when I couldn’t play an instrument. He taught me enough music to play a bell lyre and make the trip to Miami.

    Debbie Bard Grushon, class of 68

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