Betty Jane Martin

March 28, 1916 ‒ March 25, 2017

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Betty Jane Martin slipped away quietly at her home on Saturday, March 25, 2017, three days short of her 101st birthday.

She was born on March 28, 1916, in Youngstown, Ohio, to George and Mabel (Leeworthy) Hartman. She attended Wittenberg University and earned certification as an elementary school teacher.

While at Wittenberg, Betty sang in the school’s acapella choir. During a choir trip to Mansfield, she went on a blind date with James Richard Martin. The pair fell in love at first sight and eloped to West Virginia the following year.

The couple made their home in Mansfield, where they raised their daughter Cheryl and son Rick. They were married for 44 years, until Jim’s death in 1981.

In addition to raising her family, Betty devoted herself to teaching elementary school. She taught for 28 years at Carpenter Elementary School, and is remembered with love and admiration by her many students, some of whom remained friends with her until her death.

After retiring from teaching, Betty took great pleasure in traveling the world, and especially enjoyed spending time with her husband in Hawaii. She was a member of the First Congregational Church, and also enjoyed participating in many local organizations. She adored her cat Princess, who offered her companionship for 17 years.

Always one to count her blessings, Betty lived her life in optimism and faith. She was a “people person” who loved her friends dearly and enjoyed spending time out and about with them. She often told people that she loved hugs. When asked the secret to a long life, she inevitably responded, “Faith, family and friends.”

She is survived by her daughter Cheryl (Koke) Cummins of Mansfield, her daughter-in-law Margaret McGrew Martin of Lucas, grandchildren Bruce (Geneva) Cummins, Steve (Karen Redfearn) Cummins and Claudia Cummins, all of Mansfield, Laura Martin of Seattle and Andrew (Trisha) Martin of Dayton. She is also survived by 11 great grandchildren, who filled her with great happiness and pride.

In addition to her husband, Betty was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Marie Erickson and Neva Jean Hartman, as well as her son Richard Lee Martin and her infant granddaughter Lisa Lynn Martin.

The family wishes to express its heartfelt appreciation and love to caregiver Hilda Haering, whose support and companionship made it possible for Betty to live at home until her death. The family also offers deep thanks to OhioHealth Hospice, Servant’s Heart Caregivers, and the many supportive friends and helpers who meant so much to Betty.

A memorial service honoring Betty’s life will be held Saturday, April 15, 2017, at 1 PM, at the First Congregational Church at 640 Millsboro Road in Mansfield. The family will greet guests in the church parlor after the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Betty Martin Elementary Education Fund at the Richland County Foundation, which benefits the needs of local schoolchildren.

  • On March 25th I was participating in a book drive for children K thru 5th grade in Wilson, NC. I was asked why I was doing it and the answer was: Mrs. Martin gave me a book in 4th grade (1967) that I still have (The Longest Journey) and every child should be given a book of their own, so I am donating in Mrs. Martin’s name. Thank You for the great gift of enjoying books and continuing faith in God (we still prayed at Carpenter in Mrs. Martin’s class).
    My condolences to the family and friends of a great woman, teacher, friend and Christian.
    Ottine Miller

    • Ottine I’m so pleased to here that memory of my grandmother. She was proud to have served and touched so many lives as a teacher.

  • Betty’s great grandchildren were friends of my children, about 20 years ago. 10 years ago I meet Betty, as she talked of her family I realized , I already knew some of them. She always asked about my family and I enjoyed chatting with her on her front porch. She was always up beat and positive which was like a breath of fresh air. Betty, may you have hot chocolate at all hours in heaven!!!
    Peace to her family. She was so proud of you all!

  • Dear Cheryl and Koke —

    We were very saddened to hear of Betty’s death. She was a truly delightful lady who will be missed by many, but most especially by you.

    You have our deepest sympathies.