By Lorie Ham
In June of 2021, longtime Mennonite Insurance employee Marsha Okada retired after 24 years of service. She actually started with the company as a temp in 1996. Sadly, she recently passed away. We wanted to take this opportunity to share how special she was to those who worked with her.
Jerry Linscheid, General Manager, worked with Marsha for the past 12 years. She came to the company with no insurance background, but was a very quick learner. “When I started working with Marsha, she was the expert on our DOS-based policy management system. She was our primary underwriter, meaning that she decided what risks we would accept or decline. Marsha was also the primary contact with our church and farm clients. Marsha took it upon herself to audit the office processes and make sure that things didn’t fall through the cracks.”
Mennonite Insurance agent Dalia Jimenez worked with Marsha from the very beginning and shared an office with her for 15 years. “She was very knowledgeable and knew our system better than anyone else.”
But to her coworkers, Marsha was more than just a great employee. “She was a great friend, always there to lend a hand,” continues Dalia. One of Dalia’s favorite memories is of the fun she had with Marsha at an Elton John concert in 2019. She also enjoyed helping Marsha with her yard sales. “Marsha always said I would make her more money when I helped her. I would tell Marsha, ‘let me tell them the price I’ll get you more.’”
“I was trained by Marsha over 19 years ago,” shares Mennonite Insurance agent Claudia Fletes. “She was very meticulous with her work and always said there is a process to everything. She helped me understand the whole process of what we do. We became good friends over the years and I gravitated towards her. I knew I could always come to her for help. To this day, I still think, ‘What would Marsha do?’ or ‘that’s not how Marsha did things’ while at work.”
Claudia also credits Marsha with training her to be a good parent. “I was very young and had no children when I came to work here, so Marsha, aside from training me at work, also trained me on parenting. She passed down recipes, motherly advice, and life lessons. I will always be thankful for Marsha. Marsha was very special to me. She was like a second mom and I feel truly blessed to have known her.”
“Marsha was a great cook and baker. She was always there with food if someone passed away or if you had a surgery,” says Dalia. There didn’t even need to be a reason for Marsha to bring over food. Marsha lived a life of giving and helping others—that’s what gave her joy, and she was an inspiration to those around her. In her last text message to Dalia she said, she was at peace and had no regrets, she lived a good life.
Marsha’s obituary can be found at: https://rosefamilyfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/1576/Marsha-Okada/obituary.html
If you knew Marsha, please share a memory of her on our Facebook page.