May 6, 1994

Dick March Suspended

On Friday, May 6, 1994, long-time ACS Governor, Dr. Richard P. (Dick) Marsh was pronounced legally dead and was suspended. Dick had been in poor health for many months with complications from a heart attack and respiratory problems. Dick was 81 years old.

Dick served on the ACS Board from February 22, 1981 until his suspension. He was the Editor of American Cryonics, the journal of the American Cryonics Society from 1987 through 1989 and also published in other cryonics magazines including The Immortalist.

Dick was always ready to lend a hand on cryonics projects. He assisted in quite a number of suspensions as a "gofer," and did editing and proof-reading for us for many of our documents, letters, and publications.

Dick was a full Professor at San Francisco State College in the department of Communications where he taught for over 30 years. He taught classes both in communications and in Radio and Television.

For ten years just prior to his joining the faculty at San Francisco State he taught at San Mateo Community College in San Mateo.

After graduating from San Francisco State, Dick went on to Cal Berkeley where he received his Masters Degree in the mid-1940's. During the WW II, Dick served in the Signal Corp as a civilian volunteer. Dick received his Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from the College of the Pacific. He spent time studying in India as part of his Ph.D. program.

When classical radio station KKHI first went on the air in the mid-1940's, Dick's voice was the first voice heard by listeners. Dick continued at the station for several years. Dick was one of the people who started KCSM in San Mateo, California.

In the late 1950's Public Television station KQED, Channel 9, in San Francisco featured a show hosted by Dick called Time for Nine. Along with Art Hough, Dick produced and was featured as on the air personality of sixty-five shows which aired on KPIX channel 5 in the 1970's.

Dick put his broadcast communications skills to good use for cryonics. He was always ready and willing to do interviews which included appearances on the Phil Donahue Show, and the Sally Jessy Raphael Show.

Along with his wife Lynne, Dick had a long-standing interest in physical conditioning. He studied and practiced Yoga and did weight training. Both Dick and Lynne were members of the Golden Gate Race Walkers as well as the San Francisco Race Walkers. Dick was also a runner and participated in many runs. Each year he ran the famous Bay to Breakers, he also once participated in the Pikes Peak Marathon and wrote of his experience in The Immortalist.

Dick was born in Lincoln Nebraska where he lived until his family moved to San Francisco when Dick was eight or nine years old. Dick loved San Francisco and spent most of his life there.

He married Margaret McCaskill in 1949. They divorced a few years later. Margaret is now deceased. Dick has a stepdaughter, Jane Devine and a stepson, Peter Johnson.

He married Lynne Reed in 1963. Lynne was a high school teacher who taught Home Economics at George Washington high school in San Francisco. Lynne was pronounced dead on August 25, 1992 and is now in suspension at the facility of the Cryonics Institute in Detroit.

In mid-1993 with a decline in health, Dick moved to a retirement community in Walnut Creek near where his brother Earl Marsh, M.D., and sister-in-law Mickey Marsh, Ph.D., live. Following a hospitalization in January, 1994 Dick was moved to Roosemore Manner Convalescent Hospital where he stayed until his suspension.

Dick was suspended by BioPreservation which is under contract to the American Cryonics Society. This was the second suspension of ACS patients by BioPreservation, the first being the suspension of Jerry White on February 5, 1994.

Although we were well aware that Dick was in poor health and might need cryonics services soon, his condition appeared to be improving. He was scheduled to start physical therapy the day he was pronounced dead. We were called only about fifteen minutes prior to that time and did not have a team and equipment at his bedside to start the suspension procedure.

Fortunately Dick's brother and sister-in-law, with help from a duty nurse, started CPR and packed him in ice. CPR was continued until about fifteen minutes before he was flown to Southern California by air ambulance. At the BioPreservation facility he was washed out, perfused, cooled down to -79 degrees C. (dry ice temperature) and then flown to the Cryonics Institute where he was cooled down to -196 degrees C. (liquid nitrogen temperature).

Mike Darwin of BioPreservation reported that they were able to achieve good washout and to attain a high level of cryoprotective perfusion. Dick's step-daughter held a small memorial service for a few friends and family members on June 26, in Cupertino.

Richard wrote many articles and gave many talks about cryonics. One example is Communitopia

An article about Dick by Michael Larsen.

Dick's Passion for Cryonics by Jim Yount.