Martha Garrett was born in Denver, Colorado on February 22, 1930. She died in Escondido, CA on April 4, 2020 from an unexpected stroke, at the age of 90. She is survived by her 3 children: Carolyn, Cynthia (& Eben), Ken (& Amy) and 7 grand-children: Garrett, Robert II, Kenneth, Benjamin, Christina, William, and Alexandra. She has 2 great grand-children: Alyssa and Robert.
Martha was the only child of Harold and Margaret Hershey. The family moved to Colorado Springs when Martha was young. It was the childhood home of Martha’s heart. She grew up at the foot of Pike’s Peak, and loved hiking in the Rocky Mountains with her father. Martha had many friends in high school, with whom she kept in contact throughout her life.
Martha attended Whittier College for 2 years, where she met her husband-to-be, Owen Garrett. They were married in Colo. in December, 1950. In 1951 they had their first child, Carolyn. Owen was serving in the Navy and stationed in Japan. Despite the concern of both sets of parents, ever-independent Martha, took her baby and flew on her own, to live with Owen in Yokohama. They lived in Japan until they returned to the U.S. in 1953, for the birth of their second child, Cynthia. In 1955 Owen and Martha bought a home in Orange, CA. In 1958, Martha and Owen’s third child, Kenneth, was born in Orange. The family enjoyed many happy years in Orange. Orange remained Martha’s home from 1955 on - 65 years!
Martha was the main stay and glue for her own family, as well as for her large “inherited” Garrett family. She hosted large family gatherings and holidays throughout the years, and was a great cook. Martha was a wonderful mother to her children. She made them breakfast every morning before school – even though she wasn’t a morning person! She was there for all of three of them through thick and thin, with empathy and love.
Martha was a woman who lived her faith, rather than talked about it. She was a long-time member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Orange. She served in many ministries including choir, cooking for receptions and church dinners and giving rides to those who couldn’t drive. She was a faithful visitor to shut-ins. She held leadership positions in Church Women Fellowship.
Martha was an active member of PEO, a philanthropic educational organization, for over 50 years - making friends with many PEO sisters. She was also a member of Town and Gown, which supports Chapman College.
In 1976, Martha earned an Art History BA from Fullerton State College Martha kept up a life-long interest in the Arts. She was an oil painter - painting pictures of her beloved Colorado. She especially loved attending events at Chapman College - music programs, lectures, plays, or film. She supported Chapman Arts programs financially. Martha often went to LA with friends - to attend theater, museums, or symphonies. She was a supporter of Pacific Symphony in Orange Co, and also of Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
In 1987, sadly, Owen and Martha divorced. But Martha’s faith in life and her many friendships, helped her move forward into a new life. She found new work by obtaining computer skills at the age of 60. She became an Admissions Asst. for Orange Coast College, meeting another great group of friends there. She worked at OCC until she was 75. She went square dancing, and eventually met a new friend in Tom Nelson, with whom she shared many happy times such as Jazz Festivals and Elderhostel travel programs.
Martha was a life-long bridge player, with several circles of good friends through bridge. She was also an expert movie buff from childhood, and loved going to the movies with friends or relatives. Martha enjoyed travel. A highlight trip was with all her children and their spouses, to Colorado Springs and Rocky Mtn. National Park, in 2013.
Martha was always a caring friend. Once she made a friend, they were a friend for life. She greatly treasured her long-time friends, and was also good at making new friends. She gave rides to all her friends who couldn’t drive, for many years. Martha lived the last 3.5 years of her life at Town and Country Manor, Santa Ana, where she made new friends and enjoyed that community
Martha was a lively, independent person. She adapted to the hardships and challenges life threw her way with her strong spirit of goodness. She sustained love and kindness for others throughout her life. She never lost her fun-loving appreciation for life, or abundant gratefulness for the people, beauty, or good things around her. She was an inspiration to her family and an “Excellent Woman” in every way. She will be greatly missed!
A service date will be announced when Covid restrictions lift.
Please do not order flowers at this time, thank you.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Martha Garrett, please visit our floral store.