OTTAWA – Martha Ann Evans, a kind, genial, and good-as-gold soul, died on November 2, 2019, in her daughter’s home in Findlay, surrounded by family.
Martha was born September 10, 1934, in Louisville, Kentucky, to farmers, George P. Veith and Georgette M. (Shidler) Veith.
When Martha was a young child, her parents lost their farm from the drought of the Dust Bowl, and food was scarce, but Martha learned the value of perseverance, appreciation, and a ready smile.
In early elementary school, hardship continued with the sudden passing of her father, but along with struggle came a discovery that, as her mother had professed, “good things come in small packages,” and Martha carried that proverb throughout her life. She came to treasure simple little pleasures, like music, laughter, and gatherings with family and friends.
Martha also savored the sweet things in life. She had a knack for hiding stashes of her favorite, Hershey’s – Kisses in her sewing cabinet, Miniatures between her magazines, and Chocolate Bars in her dresser drawer, mingling among her undergarments.
As a teen, Martha and her family moved to Akron, where she graduated from St. Vincent Catholic High School. While there, her friendly nature earned her the nickname of “Marvelous Martha,” and she garnered top marks in the secretarial program, landing her a position at General Tire as executive secretary to head legal counsel. Martha was slick at shorthand, quick at typing, and a spot-on speller. She even won a spelling bee at the age of 80.
With attention to detail, Martha sailed through any task. A keen eye, clever finesse, and mastery of the finer points were instilled in her as a child. Often, she told the story of her Irish grandmother, who, following custom, upon Martha’s birth, clasped a needle and thread in Martha’s fingers so she would carry on family tradition. Not only did Martha develop a talent for sewing, but also crocheting, counted cross-stitch, and her favorite hobby, quilting. She enjoyed both the handiwork and artistry.
On October 5, 1957, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Akron, Martha married Thomas E. Evans, who preceded her in death on April 14, 2015. They later moved to Cambridge, Ohio, for Tom’s job at RCA Victor, and in 1966, settled in Ottawa when he transferred to GTE Sylvania. For weeks, Martha said, she cried because she missed the rolling hills, but she made fast friends, raised a family, and enjoyed the close community that she came to call home.
At Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Ottawa, Martha was a parishioner for 47 years, and early on, she lent a hand assisting the nuns with their clerical work. She also volunteered as a Girl Scout troop leader.
Later, Martha spent five years working in the office at Paul’s Ace Hardware in Ottawa, followed by 18 years with the Ottawa-Glandorf School District, first as secretary for Auxiliary Services at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School and then as head secretary of Ottawa Elementary and later Ottawa-Glandorf High School. With each job, she cherished her connections with people.
In retirement, Martha enjoyed spending time at the Ottawa Senior Center, where she served as board secretary for 12 years and volunteered to help with activities.
In addition, she had a fun-loving sense of adventure. Martha fondly recalled her trips with family and friends, and she especially reveled in her visit to Ireland. She was proud of her Irish heritage. Her favorite prayer, An Irish Blessing: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
Martha is survived by three daughters: Lisa (Michael) Glenn of Ashburn, Virginia, Linda Evans of La Jolla, California, and Tammy Evans of Findlay, Ohio; one grandson, Andrew (Devon) Glenn of Mundelein, Illinois; a brother, Alan (Rosemary) Veith, of Austin, Texas, and a sister, Marilyn Mowcomber, of Elgin, Illinois.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. on November 9 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Ottawa, with Fr. Rick Friebel officiating. Burial will directly follow in church cemetery, then a luncheon at Gathering Wine on South Main Street in Findlay at 1 p.m. All family and friends are welcome to attend. Visitation will take place from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 8 at Love Funeral Home, Ottawa, with a scripture service at 7 p.m.
Memorials may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation, the Ottawa Senior Center, or Bridge Home Health & Hospice. Condolences may be expressed to lovefuneralhome.com.
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Ottawa Senior Center
Ottawa OH 45875