Martha Belle (nee Van Gilder) Perry, age 93, of Lexington, Kentucky, passed away on July 30 at The Willows on Citation Nursing and Rehabilitation Home in Lexington. She was born In Columbus, Ohio on January 14, 1927, the daughter of the late Heber Osborne and Belle (Lynch) Van Gilder. Martha spent the greatest portion of her youth in Portsmouth, Ohio, where her father was pastor at Temple Baptist Church. In 1941, she graduated from Portsmouth High School, following in the footsteps of older brothers Hebe and Bill.On March 16, 1946 Martha was married to Homer Perry, in Ashland, Kentucky. In 1953 they moved to Sardinia, Ohio where Homer was station agent for the Sardinia Depot of N&W Railroad.
When her daughter started school in 1957, Martha returned to college (part-time); she also began an amazing career as an educator, teaching in the Mt. Orab/Western Brown School district until her retirement in 1994. One of Martha’s many passions was reading, and she did her best to encourage a love of reading in her family, friends, and students. After earning her Master’s in Library Science from Miami University in Oxford, she became an advocate for an expanded system of public libraries in Brown County, a campaign which finally resulted in public libraries in many smaller Brown County towns, including Sardinia. In addition to reading, Martha enjoyed several sports, especially baseball, and was a big fan of the Cincinnati Reds. She enjoyed swimming, boating, and water skiing, and appreciated nature and the outdoors, especially the wildlife and the birds that visited her yard and bird feeders. She loved her John Ruthven prints, especially the one of Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon.While living in Georgetown, Ohio, Martha was an active member and a regent for Taliaferro Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also quite involved with Georgetown American Legion post, helping with activities and fundraisers. Although remaining a lifelong Baptist, throughout her life she enjoyed worshiping with several congregations, especially Georgetown Presbyterian (Ohio), Trinity United Methodist (Maysville KY), and Second Presbyterian Church (Lexington KY).
Martha was preceded in death by her husband, Homer H. Perry, who passed away in 1969, and their son, Philip L. Perry, (2011), as well as two much-loved brothers,Heber Osborne II (Lena) and William Lynch Van Gilder (Shirley). Martha mourned the loss of three of Homer’s sisters, whom the thought of her own:Peg (Harry) Kennedy, Louella Entler, and Patty (Ray) Coleman, and brother-in-law Paul Howell. Also preceding Martha in death was former husband Winfield Young, of Mowrystown, OH.
Martha dearly loved those whom she leaves behind: daughter Barbara Hauke and her husband William, of Lexington, KY; a beloved daughter-in-law, Jeanne Perry, of Seattle WA; four grandchildren: Carrie Hauke Glover (Jeremy), Christopher Hauke (Ambor Bends), Perry Andrew Hauke, and Nikkia Perry Scherrer (Jacob);great-grandchildren Olivia Cathers, Liam and Colin Hauke, and Aidan, Sophia, and Quinn Scherrer; along with a wealth of beloved nieces and nephews in many states.Finally, she leaves behind two sisters-in-law, Mildred Howell and Nora Easter, and two brothers-in-law, Delbert Entler and Leroy Easter.Additionally, Martha’s life was enriched by the the children of Winfield Young: Flick and Mary Young, Ritch and Julie Young, Tom and Kristie Miller, and Kip Young, along with their children and grandchildren.
Private Graveside Services will be held Sunday, August 9, 2020 at the Sardinia Cemetery at the convenience of the family. The Cahall Funeral Home in Georgetown, Ohio is serving the family.
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