Casho, Martha Blanche Knell
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93, our darling soul, passed away January 10, 2013. Martha was born February 22, 1916 in Harrisburg, PA to the late Benjamin and Blanche Wharton Knell. Her parents were musicians who named her after the president whose birthday she shared. She spent her youth on the boardwalk and beach in her beloved Atlantic City, NJ, traveling to Miami in the winters. Her mother played piano for the silent movies and her dad, a cellist, had a combo that played for hotels and resorts along the east coast. She was valedictorian of her high school class and served in the court of the Miss America pageant. Her red hair drew attention wherever she went, a trait that she passed along throughout the family. Martha met Joe Casho on a blind date in 1936 in the height of the Great Depression and began a love affair that would last through thick and thin for nearly 60 years until Joe's death in 1996. They moved more than 20 times in those early years with Joe working as everything from a milkman to a desk clerk before becoming a draftsman and architect. Martha insisted on moving west, leaving all her family and friends behind when her oldest child suffered from asthma, and they settled in Phoenix, Arizona, forging a new life in the desert she and Joe so dearly loved. Martha treasured her children, her dachshunds, reading and feeding birds. She was always shy, but willing to listen and share her opinions, wit and wisdom with close friends and family. She and Joe spent time each summer in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona and finally were able to split their time between Chandler and Pine Top, their dream. She was a world-class Jumble puzzle enthusiast and amazed all who tried to compete with her throughout her life, solving the word games instantly. When Joe passed away, Martha relocated to Dawsonville, Georgia to be with her daughter Barbara and was fortunate enough to be cared for there for 9 years by Barbara and Gene Morgan in a countryside surrounded by wildlife, pets and family. She visited her Seattle family as long as she was able and dearly loved trading stories and ideas with her grandchildren in Washington, Montana and Georgia. She is survived by her daughters and sons in law, Barbara and Gene Morgan, Debra and Jeff Twersky; son and daughter in law, Craig and Laura Casho; eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Memorial services for Mrs. Casho will be held at a later date at Amicalola Baptist Church in Dawsonville. Remembrances may be made to the Dawson County Humane Society, 633 Martin Road, Dawsonville, GA 30534. Condolences may be expressed at www.beardenfuneralhome.com. Bearden Funeral Home, Dawsonville, GA.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 20, 2013