Marcia Mohler Ransom, age 82, died Tuesday, May 22 at Brewster Place. She valued people and being with them more than she valued things. She was both a leader and a learner. A native Kansan, her early life was primarily in Dodge City, where her father was the telephone company manager. Her parents were the late James Calhoun Mohler and Dot Holbert Mohler. She was preceded in death by a brother, David Mohler.
Her lineage was distinguished, as she was the granddaughter of Jacob Mohler, a long-serving Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, and her great-grandfather was Dr. John Calhoun McClintock, a founder (with Bishop Vail), of Christ’s Hospital, later to become the present Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center.
Marcia benefited greatly from an excellent high school education, since she married young and did not attend college, a fact that many of her friends would find surprising, because of her sophistication and wide-ranging knowledge and interests. In her early twenties, living in Salina, she had leading roles in some Broadway musicals produced by the Salina Civic Theater. She wrote with a beautiful hand, spelled with perfection, and knew how to interact with people, no matter what their background.
She first married the late Myrlen James. They were divorced. She then met Dr. James Ransom, who had moved to Topeka with his daughters after the death of his first wife. He began attending her church, St. David’s Episcopal. Marcia was a stylish dresser, and wore unusual hats to church. Dr. Jim always said that he finally asked, “Who is that blond lady with the big beautiful hats?” They were introduced and eventually married, combining two families of young teen-aged children.
Their marriage flourished as did their children. Marcia served early on in the Topeka Zoo Docent Program when it was started by former zoo director Gary Clarke.
After the children were in college, Marcia became the office manager for Topeka Allergy & Asthma Clinic for several years. She was a skilled knitter and seamstress, and at one time made a set of vestments for the St. David’s clergy. She started a Bible study at St. David’s, “Education For Ministry” (EFM) and soon became a leader and mentor for the program, attending courses provided by the University of the South.
She was also active in the Rejoice Troupe, an outreach music program of St. David’s, which made recordings and traveled to churches throughout Kansas under the leadership of Dr. Herschel Stroud. She belonged to a number of organizations, including the Minerva Club of Topeka, which she served as President, and PEO. She decorated the family’s cottage at Council Grove with unique art and antiques from rural Kansas. Until illness prevented it, she attended almost all Topeka Symphony Concerts for many years. She enjoyed cookery and experimenting with unusual recipes.
She and Dr. Jim travelled widely, both to medical education venues and for pleasure. They often picked courses with educational functions, including a two week study at Oxford University, and classes in Italy touring Tuscany and Rome, and travels to the Barcelona region of Spain. Their favorite venues were in the United Kingdom, where they toured with the late Dr. and Mrs. Harry Morrow Brown, of Derby, who accompanied them throughout the British Isles. Marcia fell in love with Scotland, and went with Dr. Jim on numerous shooting trips.
Marcia was everything a wife, mother and grandmother should be: active, loving, supportive and loved in turn. She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Dr. Jim Ransom, and by daughters Jennifer James of Gurnee, IL; Rob James of Lincoln, NE; Rebecca Wahbeh of McKinney, TX, and Laurel Ransom Echavarria of Sewickley, PA, as well as nine grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. An adopted daughter, Janet Ransom, died several years ago in an auto accident.
Marcia Ransom passed away at Brewster Place, of complications related to Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at St. David's Episcopal Church, 3916 SW 17th Ave. Topeka, KS 66604.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st., Topeka, Kansas 66604.
Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel is assisting with arrangements. To leave a special message for the family please click the "Share Memories" button above.