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Author Catherine Marshall (September 27, 1914-March 18, 1983) was born Catherine Sarah Wood in Johnson City, Tennessee, to Presbyterian minister John Ambrose Wood and his missionary wife, Lenora Whitaker Wood. The family moved to West Virginia and lived in Keyser during the late 1920s and the 1930s. Catherine completed Keyser High School in 1932, and enrolled at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

During her junior year in college Catherine met the Rev. Peter Marshall; they married in 1936 in Keyser. After their son’s birth in 1940, Catherine was homebound with tuberculosis for nearly three years. In 1949, she faced another crisis when her 46-year-old husband, then chaplain of the U.S. Senate, died of a heart attack. She edited 16 of his sermons and prayers for the book, Mr. Jones, Meet The Master (1950), and completed his biography, A Man Called Peter (1951).

In 1959, Marshall married editor Leonard E. LeSourd, and they collaborated as book publishers. Her best-loved novel, Christy (1967), based on her mother’s girlhood in the southern mountains, spawned a CBS television series, youth book series, television movie, and a musical. Her inspirational autobiography, Meeting God at Every Turn, was published in 1980.

Catherine Marshall died in Florida. Her second novel, Julie, was published posthumously in 1984.

This Article was written by Phyllis Wilson Moore

Last Revised on December 07, 2015


Marshall, Catherine. Light in my Darkest Night. Old Tappan, NJ: Chosen Books, 1989.

Marshall, Catherine. Meeting God at Every Turn. Carmel, NY: Guideposts, 1980.

Cite This Article

Moore, Phyllis Wilson "Catherine Marshall." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 07 December 2015. Web. 15 April 2024.


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