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Published: Monday, 10/18/2004

Ballet teacher had a studio in Findlay

FINDLAY - Netty Elise Marsman, 83, who ran a ballet school here for more than 20 years, died of metaplastic carcinoma Thursday in The Heritage.

She moved from Fostoria to The Heritage three years ago after a stroke paralyzed her right side, her son, Edmond, said.

Mrs. Marsman opened her dance studio shortly after moving here in 1962. She had run a ballet school in The Netherlands for 10 years. She also taught for three years at the Fostoria YMCA.

"She really found classical ballet beautiful," her son said. "She got a lot of pleasure and gratification out of seeing kids enhance their skills and perform."

She choreographed dances for her students and made all the costumes herself, her son said.

Mrs. Marsman studied Russian classical ballet because she liked to dance and liked the music, her son said.

She also liked to work with children and wanted to pass on to them the poise and grace that ballet teaches, he said. She retired in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Mrs. Marsman was born in Bandoeng in the former Dutch East Indies. She met a Dutch soldier, J.J.H. "Harry" Marsman, and married him in 1947. He died in 1973.

In 1950, Indonesia had a revolution and the Marsmans moved to the Netherlands.

The family decided to emmigrate to the United States because they had had enough of war, Edmond Marsman said.

St. Andrew's United Methodist Church sponsored their immigration. The family arrived in March, 1962, and Mr. Marsman opened a tailor shop.

Mrs. Marsman was a strong, independent woman, her son said.

"To bring a family of six to a foreign country and start over took a lot of courage," he said.

He said she maintained a nice flower garden and grew roses. After she retired, she stayed active.

Surviving are her sons, Charles J., Berend J., and Edmond W. Marsman; daughters, Angela G. Everaars, Jolande E. Rider, and Vivien Cherie Lazenby; brother, Jean Henri Koch; 13 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Services are at 11 a.m. today at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church. The family suggests tributes to the church.

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