Saturday, December 02, 2023

Marsha Buroker Sayre, 83

| November 2, 2023 1:00 AM

Marsha Kay Buroker Sayre passed in her sleep Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, in Ashland, Ore. She was born in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, on Jan. 28, 1940, to Harold and Fay Buroker. She was 83 years old.

Marsha is survived by her younger brother, Steve Buroker; husband of 61 years, Thomas Sayre; sons, Michael and Matthew Sayre; daughter-in-law, Kouba Sayre; grandchildren, Rieger and Koura Sayre; and Mister the cat. She was preceded in death by her older sister, Phyllis. Her father, Harold, served the city of Bonners Ferry for 30 years as the city clerk, initiating the building of the Moyie Dam. 

Marsha was a Bonners Ferry Badgerette cheerleader, a University of Idaho Pi Beta Phi, and earned a University of Montana master of education degree.

In 1957, as a high school junior, she won a national essay contest and a trip to Washington, D.C., and New York. While there she spent an afternoon with former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Her destined meeting and eventual marriage to Thomas Sayre of Worcester Massachusetts, who worked in numerous western posts for the Forest Service, took her from Bonners to Missoula and then Troy, Mont., where she taught high school English. 

In 1966, she was honored by the seniors as the student-selected teacher of the year. A full-page dedication was highlighted in the yearbook. 

From there the couple moved, made friends and raised a family in Elk City Idaho; Bishop, Calif.; Olympia, Wash.; and finally, Medford, Ore. 

In June 2014, a 50th wedding anniversary for Marsha and Tom took place at the site of their meeting at Priest Lake Resort. In 1959, Marsha was a lifeguard and nanny at the resort, and Tom a rangy pinecone-scented Forest Service greenhorn with a Massachusetts accent. For Tom, it was love at first sight. For Marsha, it took just a bit longer. True to her character, though, she made the tough decision quickly and never looked back. Their life together was made of love, laughter, and mutual respect.

Marsha was an intrepid international sojourner, living, engaging and traveling to places as small as Trout Creek, Mont., and as distant as Paris, France; London, England; Graz, Austria; and Cairo, Egypt. Her Buroker sense of humor and love for people shined everywhere she was. 

Always involved in the community where she lived, she was head of the English department in Troy, Mont.; taught at the Community College in Libby, Mont.; was instrumental in founding Elk City’s first library; ran the welcome office of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce; and was a member of the executive committee for Tough Love and key contributor to the business success and professionalism at two medical and eye clinics in Olympia. Other than an infamous showdown with the Posse Comitatus in Elk City, she led a life of peace and good sense; not so much as a parking ticket on her unblemished record. A point she made on numerous occasions. 

Marsha was an avid connoisseur of cabaret theater, Shakespeare plays, and dark chocolate. She loved quilts made by her closest friend Helen Newton, lilacs and lavender, the Seattle Seahawks, strong coffee, Tom’s cooking, any sporting event involving her sons and grandchildren, the Beach Boys, stories about father Harold and mother Fay in and around Boundary County, historical fiction, Zumba, art museums and hummingbirds. 

She made any room better with her positivity and ready laugh. Her wittiness was perfectly paired with an innate sense of comedic timing. She was a fun and funny lady.

In the care of her sons and in a lovely green urn, the beautiful Boundary County girl will return home to Grandview Cemetery to rest near her mother and father and to be joined eventually by her life partner, Thomas. 

A small service will take place at the cemetery Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow at the Kootenai River Brewing Company from noon to 1:30 p.m.


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