Martha Ann Whittern made her last move, to her final home in heaven quickly and peacefully. She was born in Hoagland, Indiana to Robert & Josephine Flora, the 3rd of 8 children. As the oldest daughter, she had many responsibilities, especially in caring for younger siblings. Martha Ann attended and graduated from school in Hoagland. While there she became aware of another student whose sweet tenor singing attracted her heart. She married him, Luman Whittern, in 1946 and they enjoyed 69 years as husband and wife. After supporting Luman through college, Martha Ann became a mother of 3 and a homemaker. Among other places, they lived in Union Township, Huntington, IN for 9 years, and Bloomington, IN for 48 years. Failing health brought them to Bellingham, WA to be near family for Martha Ann’s final 3 months.
Martha Ann had a strong faith in God and was involved in church, where she especially enjoyed volunteering in the nursery. She also enjoyed helping others, cooking and baking, cake decorating, gardening, bird and wildlife watching, growing flowers, making crafts, sewing, decorating the house for holidays, teaching line dancing, watching Lawrence Welk, and wintering in FL in their RV. Martha Ann never met a stranger and would strike up a conversation with anyone she met, even people passing in a store. This was a valuable asset in the job she and Luman had in retirement at Disney World, assisting guests in a resort cafeteria.
Martha Ann is survived by her husband Luman; her children June (& Tom) Cox, Ferndale WA, Lois (&Ted) Brandenburg, Hendersonville, NC, and Lynn (& Cheryl) Whittern, Lacey, WA; grandsons Josiah (&Heather) Cox, & Nathan Cox, all of WA; siblings Willis, “Bill” (& Doris) Flora of IN, brother-in-law Jake Fluke of IN, Dale (& Marilyn) Flora of IN, Elsie “Flora” (& Dutch) VanVranken of FL, Wayne (& Vicki) Flora of MO, and Rosie (& Winston) Lister of AZ.
Martha Ann was preceeded in death by her parents, Robert & Josephine Flora, her brother Glenn Flora & his wife Ruth, her sister Eileen Fluke, and her sister-in-law, Beulah Flora.
Martha Ann is remembered for her joy in being with her children and grandchildren, her parents when they were alive, other family, and friends and neighbors. Probably everyone who visited their Highpoint Ln. home remembers Martha Ann’s stuffed toy monkey that she had them pet, and how she pushed a button to make it squeal as they did so. She loved sharing her favorite photos with people. The family also remembers food she made: her vegetable beef soup, date-nut bread which was shared with many, gumdrop cookies, cherry pudding, and fried mush. Lois especially remembers cupcakes Martha Ann made so her school class could celebrate her near-Easter birthday. They had coconut she colored green and sprinkled over white frosting, and bunnies made with marshmallows that had faces drawn on with food coloring, and ears cut out of pink paper. The grandsons fondly remember Goose & Gander, stuffed toys Martha Ann had. She put them in different situations and pictures were taken of them. She put the pictures in a photo album and wrote a story to go with the pictures. When Grandma & Grandpa came to visit, so did Goose & Gander.
Even though Martha Ann’s mental capabilities were diminished by Alzheimers, she still helped other residents where she lived. Her bright smile, which is lovingly remembered, was still a part of her along with characteristics which made her uniquely Martha Ann. She delighted in each visit by family. Reminiscing, Luman says they had a good life.
Martha Ann will always be missed and loved. The hearts of those who love her are at peace knowing she is in the presence of Jesus, her Savior. She is full of joy and peace with a sound mind, body, and spirit.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28
Martha Ann’s remains will be interred at some time in the future in Markle, IN.
- Date & Time: Jul 28, 2015 (No Time)
- Venue: Moles Farewell Tributes - Ferndale
- Location: 2039 Main St Ferndale, WA 98248 - (Get Directions)