Martha Lou (Marti) Birchmier, 81, of Centerville, died Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 at Golden Age Care Center, Centerville.
She was born Oct. 11, 1931 in What Cheer, to Frank Dewitt and Eva Belle (Feagins) Benge. She graduated from Washington High School in 1949 and worked at Canary Cottage in Oskaloosa.
Martha married Richard W. Birchmier on June 16, 1952 in St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Oskaloosa. They lived at Cedar Rapids, Savannah, Milton, Indianola, Greenfield, West Des Moines, Shenandoah and Centerville.
She was a great and loving wife and mother to their seven children. She was very supportive of their seven children’s education and extracurricular activities. She loved history and did extensive genealogy work on the Benge family line. Her joy was her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. Martha also loved get togethers with the Benge and Birchmier families.
After her children were grown, she worked at Henry Fields and Spurgeons store in Shenandoah. After Richard’s retirement in 1994 they spent time in Florida in the winter and she enjoyed the ocean and nature. Martha was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville, the 18-80 Club and the Davis County Genealogical Society.
Survivors include her husband Richard; two daughters, Suzanne J. Birchmier of Centerville and Cynthia L. Hunt of Maryville, Mo.; four sons, Richard L. (Peggy) of Milton, Randall R. (Karen) of Maitland, Fla., Michael A. (Paula) of Kansas City, Mo., and Thomas D. (Raegan) of Albia; 17 grandchildren, David Lee Birchmier, Emily Ann Birchmier, Jennifer Marie Lemke, Jason Walter Birchmier, Branden Lee Hunt, Adriane Suzanne (Phillip) Moser, Whitney (Richard) Hunt, Ashley Martha Hunt, Randall Erik Birchmier, Kaitlin Inge Birchmier, Chelsea Suzanne Birchmier, Rachel Lucille Birchmier, Miles Jorden Birchmier, Joel Wesley Birchmier, Joe Aiden Birchmier, Chris Lee Kilofoyle and Ryleigh Michelle Birchmier; eight great-grandchildren, Audrey Darlene Lemke, Gregory Leonard Birchmier, Saffron Suzanne Birchmier, Temperance Martha Birchmier, Caleb Ray Peterson, Makenzie Kay Lemke, Blaine Russell Moser and Gavin Lee Moser; one brother, Jess C. (Nancy) Benge of Norwalk; four sisters, Jane Kibler of Springville, Audrey (Larry) Christy of Mt. Pleasant, Carol (Phil) Crippin of Carlisle, Glorene (Larry) Claus of Kansas City, Kan.
She was preceded in death by one son, Gregory Walter; her parents; one brother, Richard W. Benge; and one granddaughter Jerrica Ann Bracelin Lemke.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville with Father Bill Hubmann officiating. A fellowship dinner will follow in the basement of St. Mary’s Church immediately following mass. Burial will take place at 2 p.m. at Troy Cemetery east of Bloomfield. A visitation will be held on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory from 9 a.m.-8 p.m., with the family present from 6-8 p.m. A rosary will be held on Friday at the funeral home at 5:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established to either the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the 18-80 Club, the Golden Age Care Center or the Alzheimer’s Association and may be given to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.