Martha Louise Douce Maniaci

May 10, 1931 ‒ December 27, 2020

Marion, Ohio

Martha Louise Douce Maniaci, age 89, died peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, December 27, 2020 at her daughter’s home.

Martha was born in Marion, Ohio on May 10, 1931 to the late Elmer Jay and Mildred Inez (Allen) Douce.  Martha attended Harding High School graduating in 1949. Shortly after graduating, Martha married the love of her life, Joseph A. Maniaci II on July 4, 1950.

Together Martha and Joe owned and operated The Martha Douce Dance Studio of Ohio and Maniaci’s Super Market. Martha was previously The Midwest Director of Dance Educators of America and involved with League of Women Voters and The Junior Service Guild. She was a proud parent of Marion Catholic Booster’s Club and Marion Catholic Parents Guild.  Martha was awarded recognition for Children’s Hospital in Columbus for her efforts in raising $90,000 for Leukemia thru the Mike Rollins Dances with Martha Douce Dance Club. In the 1970’s Martha was awarded One of the Ten Most Distinguished Women in Ohio, Marion’s Most Distinguished Award in the 1980’s and in 2019 was a Marion Made Honoree.

Being a woman of faith, Martha was a long time member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Marion where she enjoyed being involved with Liturgical Dance.

Martha will be missed by many for her fashion sense always full of sparkles, feathers and sequins and her ability to make others smile.  Always ready for dancing, Martha loved teaching baton twirling, ballet, tap, jazz, and ballroom and up until recently she would dance the Cupid Shuffle any chance she had.

Above all, Martha loved her large family.  She will be deeply missed by her children, Joseph A. (Kari) Maniaci III, Marilyn K. (Russell) McBride III, LuAnn L. (Kevan) Hartman, and Suzanne N. (Tom) Harris; grandchildren,  Autumn (fiancé, Jeff Deeter), Russell (Kathy) McBride IV, Heidi (Sean) Dodsworth, Brittany (Adam) Issler, Christopher (Kristin) Hartman, Chantress (Aaron) Cook, Courtney (Evan) Miller, Trevor (Kalie) Harris, Cody (Kathleen) Harris, Ryan Maniaci, Leah Maniaci; great grandchildren, Nadalee Smith, Bobby Husted, Adam John Issler, Peyton Husted, Caleb Issler, Paxton Dodsworth, Mya McBride, Reagan Dodsworth, Emma Cook, Russell McBride V, Hayden Miller, Emersyn Miller, McKinley Miller, Sutton Cook, Trenton Harris, Paislee Cook, Harper Hartman, Sawyer Miller, Trace Harris, and Caroline Harris; great-great grand grandchildren, Kezia Bailey and Kanan Bailey; along with countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

In addition to her parents and husband, Martha is preceded in death by her siblings, Dale Douce, Don Douce, Grace Wood Mack, and Warren Douce.

A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary Catholic Church with Father Kyle Tennant presiding and can be viewed by visiting on Saturday January 2, 2021 at 10:30 am.  Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

A celebration of Martha’s life will be hosted by her children on Saturday, August 7, 2021 from 1 until 5 pm at The Knights of Columbus Hall, 1232 E. Center St. Marion.

We will be gathering to share some of our favorite stories and memories that have urged us to laugh or cry as we honor a wonderful person who is greatly missed…Martha Douce Maniaci.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations may be made in Martha’s honor to The Marion Community Foundation in care of The Joe and Martha Douce Maniaci Memorial Fund.  Donations may be mailed to The Marion Community Foundation 504 S State St, Marion, OH 43302 or online by visiting  This Fund has been created to carry on the legacy of our awesome parents.

The family would like to thank Shannon Kellogg and the staff at Presidential Post-Acute, Tranquility Hospice: Adam, Kate, Michelle and Cee-Cee, Dr. Mark Piacentin, Kristin Browning CNP and Dr. Bob Singh for the loving care they showed for Martha.  We would also like to thank Martha’s health care professional grandchildren who assisted in bringing her home and caring for her in her last days, St. Mary Church, Marion and Father Kyle Tennant.

Snyder Funeral Homes, Gunder/Hall Chapel are honored to serve Martha’s family.  Online condolences may be expressed by visiting

  • Martha was a sweet lady, everytime I walked past her in the lobby at Presidential Post Acute she would always say Hi. Everytime you see her she would put a smile on your face, she would always be wearing feathers, sequins, these giant glasses every day. She would stop you and tell you a story from her past it would be either about her husband Joe, her dancing, her children and grandchildren. Martha will truly be missed, she’s gone but never forgotten. Rest in Heaven Dancing Queen!!!!!!



  • Aunt Martha will continue to be one of my heros!
    She loved everyone she met, she made you feel like you were so special to her! She lived and loved life to the fullest, even up to her last days on earth!
    Martha has done so much for the community and beyond! Her legacy will live on in Marion forever!
    She told me stories of my dad, Warren Douce, when they were young siblings. As a two year old, I attended her and Joe’s wedding July 4,1950.
    When in Marion for a couple of weeks she allowed me to join one of her classes of dancers which has given me a lifelong love of dance. As a youth she gave me a baton which I treasured! I remember being with my parents helping Martha and Joe paint tap shoes in their backyard as they prepared
    for a recital. When the painting was completed, Martha discovered she lost her wedding ring someplace in the grass of their yard. We hunted for that ring and found it!!! What a reunion she is having with Joe and all the other family members who have gone on before! I’ll miss my Aunt Martha; a woman like no other!! She brought color and excitement to all who were privileged to know her!

  • So sorry to hear of your moms passing. I took dance lessons from her and your dad for many years. I was always so excited when we had the recital at the place. I have fond memories of those days. Heaven has received another angle . Cherish the memories as I will do

  • Martha was a special person. Many memories of talking to her while my daughter was in dance class. She was always smiling and loved the dancers. She will never be forgotten. Thoughts and prayers during this time. God bless you all.

  • We will miss Martha’s beautiful smile and bubbly personality. We have been so blessed to be a part of Martha and Joe’s dancing group from tapping, to ballroom and disco. Martha touched so many young people through dance , sports, and philanthropy. What a wonderful woman and family.
    Ted & Marlene Temple
    Steven and Kelly Temple

  • There are not enough words for my time with Martha. Thank you for sharing her with us. Thank you for trusting us to take care and assist your beautiful mother in her later life. She sure kept things exciting. I made a friend, a best friend in Martha and I will never ever forget her with her memory for dates. Her rhymes. Her wonderful fashion sense, her love of sports, her love of her family, her passion for CHRISTmas/holidays and of course her brilliant dancing. I will miss her stories, her laughter and most of all her tag lines- I like the way you think and I sure am glad your mother had you!!! Love and prayers to you all.

  • I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Martha. I have known her for years and back in the day did many pictures of her and for her. Asides from the newspaper covering the many Martha Douce studio’s or dance recitals it was my second home. I always enjoyed visiting with Martha rather at her place, on assignment or the many times she graced our darkroom at the newspaper. I will always remember Martha for her many antics, stories and her big and caring heart. My first dance lesson was with her husband Joe and although I was nothing but a rag doll as he swung me, twirled me and danced circles around me, Martha always chided me next to her I was his best partner of course we all know that wasn’t true. Those two were a match made in heaven. Martha and her family were always the highlight of my day if my assignments included them. With Joe & Martha re-united God best be ready to dance his heart out for there will absolutely be no idle feet in heaven. Thank you Martha for all you brought to the Marion community. Thank you for all the cherished and wonderful memories I was able to share with you over the years.
    I send my thoughts and prayers to her family for strength and healing.

  • We are so sorry to hear about your mom and the kids grandmother’s going to dance in heaven. We don’t think there was a time that she didn’t have a smile when we seen her. She loved her family. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Martha was loved and will be missed.
    Allison and Debbie Adey were honored to get to know her and care for her at Presidential.

  • Great Lady. She did many things for Marion. She raised a very good family. I am sorry for your loss.

  • My Mom Lois Jean Woods Lundquist was 18 days younger than Martha and were in the same graduating class at Harding in 1949. Mom and Dad were married 2 days earlier than Martha and Joe on July 2. I knew Martha and Joe when I worked for F. Howard Lawson back in 1974-1977. Joe and I became friends until his passing! I rode with Martha on the Senior Van back in 2013 and we had a great conversation about Joe and her! A truly grand lady and the last of the true Marion Celebrities along with Charlie Evers! She will surely be missed! Our deepest sympathies to the entire family! God Bless you all! RIP! Sincerely, Mike and Becky Lundquist, Marion.

  • Martha the beautiful Dancing Queen is up in heaven teaching Jesus and the angels how to dance . Dance on beautiful Dancing Queen love you Betty Britain

  • Martha the beautiful Dancing Queen is up in heaven teaching Jesus and the angels how to dance . Dance on beautiful Dancing Queen love you Betty Britain

  • For many years during our youth, we all lived like family. We laughed, cried, ate, slept, and danced together. We built scenery and floats over and over again. In my adult life, I have missed those days, but now I will wait until we meet with both set of our parents in heaven. Do you suppose they have “Dance Club” up there? I never saw your Mom that I didn’t get hugs and lots of love from her. But you are all that way actually. I am blessed to have you as friends. Until I put on my tutu in heaven , I will see her then.

  • Martha was quite a lady who will be greatly missed. She did so much for Dance in our community and elsewhere. And she did so much in so many different ways for our community’s well-being.
    I have fond memories of working with her and Joe on the Junior Service Guild Follies.
    Deep sympathy to all the family…Lu Ann, Marilyn, Suzanne, Joe, etc.
    May Martha rest in Peace.
    My condolences,
    Jo Ann

  • Kari and Joe – I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Joe’s mom. I had no idea this was your mom! What an impressive life and legacy she leaves! Kari, I remember during our conversations while I was in the Board of Elections that you had worked at their grocery in Marion. Her life on earth has been very well spent! Please accept my sincere condolences.