Martha Irene Smith Read
Feb 5, 1931—May 19, 2020
Martha was born at home on the farm in Waverly Illinois. The blizzard that day prevented the doctor
from attending the birth, so her dad stepped in to assist. She was the youngest child of Hattie Bell Scott
and Leroy Thomas Smith, little sister to Edwin and the twins Louis and Lois. The family moved to a farm
west of Franklin Illinois and her early education was the local one room school to which she rode her
horse Daisy. Martha loved her kittens and her piglets (Inky, Dinky, Stinky and Pinky) while living at home
on the farm.
She met Robert Hart Read when she was about 14 years old and a freshman at Franklin High school. She
never considered anyone else as a sweetheart. On June 25, 1950, Martha married Bob after he returned
from service in the Navy. With Bob, she fulfilled her dreams to be a loving wife and mother, and their
life together moved to State College, PA, then St. Louis and Chicago, then to Welland, Ontario, to
Ligonier, PA and then settled in Portland, IN. Bob passed away in 2014, and in 2015 Martha moved to
Martha faithfully served her church and was devoted to Bible study and the women’s service groups.
She couldn’t tell a joke without cracking up or giving away the punchline. She loved to ‘smoke, smoke,
smoke out’ the queen in a game of Hearts. She enjoyed her many kitties and all things blue. She loved to
create beauty through music, art, sewing, gardening, and knitting. An adventurous cook, she introduced
the family to fondue, pavlova, tacos, and shrimp creole. In her later years she enjoyed watching sports
including cheering on Peyton Manning and Joey Votto.
She was the kindest, most appreciative, and most patient person. Her most frequent words were “thank
you.” One of her favorite Bible verses was Philippians 4:8: “Fix your thoughts on what is good and true
and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think
about all you can praise God for and be glad about.”
Martha is survived by her sister Lois Rust (Jacksonville IL), sister in law Arlene Smith (Franklin IL), sister in
law Mary Read (Jacksonville IL), sister in law Dale Smith, daughter Holly Read with husband Scott Maul
(Georgetown TX), daughter Jenny Murray with husband Brian (Scottsdale AZ), and son Jim Read with
wife Alice (Rochester NY). She was grandmother to Matthew with wife Jessie Read (Memphis TN),
Rachel with partner Evan Aubertin (Sydney, Australia), Ben with wife Kim Read (Rochester NY), and Rylie
Murray (Scottsdale AZ.) She was great grandmother to Charlotte, Heidi, Lucy and William Read, the
children of Ben and Kim Read, plus Elizabeth, William and Eloise, the children of Matt and Jessie Read.
Martha’s final resting place is beside Bob in Franklin Cemetery, in their hometown, Franklin, Illinois.
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