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Former funeral director found dead in Deschutes River

by: Courtesy photo Dean Marsh

Dean Marsh, the longtime former funeral director for Columbia Funeral Home in St. Helens, was found dead in the Deschutes River last Thursday after having been missing since the prior Saturday.

An autopsy was performed March 25, but results regarding the cause of death were not available as of press deadline.

It's still unclear what events led to Marsh's death, but there is no evidence to lead investigators to believe foul play was involved, according to Sgt. Bryan Husband of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.

The body of Marsh, 58, was located about 1,000 yards north of McGregor View Point in the Deschutes River at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, March 24.

Marsh had left his La Pine home five days earlier to visit friends, said his wife, Lorraine Marsh. Lorraine reported him missing on Sunday.

He was last seen driving a black 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup, which was found prior to the discovery of his body.

Many who knew Marsh said it was uncharacteristic of him not to keep in touch with his family when he went missing.

Marsh had lived in St. Helens and worked as the funeral director at the Columbia Funeral Home for more than 20 years, first under owner Chuck Parks and then with current owners, John and Amy Potter.

After Marsh disappeared, Parks spoke on the caring nature of his former coworker. He would always lend a hand to others, whether they were close to him or not, Parks said.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at Warren Baptist Church.