Clara Evelyn Martin
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MOUNT VERNON: Clara Martin was clothed with strength and dignity and she laughed without fear of the future. (Prov 31:26) As a pastor's wife, she served the congregation alongside her husband, shepherding the church. All her years of supporting her husband in the ministry, her faithful service, was her offering to God. (Phil 2:17)
Clara is at rest from her service, as she went to be with the Lord Sunday morning December 22, 2012 from her daughter's Cambridge area home. She was 92.
Born Clara Evelyn Bletz April 15, 1920 in Mansfield, she was the daughter of Edward and Clara (Lehnhart) Bletz. She was graduated valedictorian from Madison High School in 1938, and earned her Bachelor's in Education from Ashland University in 1942. She later studied at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.
On April 18, 1948 she married Dr. Donald Thomas Martin, and later that same year her role as a pastor's wife began with First Friends Church. Continuing their work in the Lord, in the 1990's Clara and Don founded what is now New Life Church of the Nazarene, in Mt. Vernon.
An accomplished harpist, Clara and Don often incorporated music into their ministry. Together, their duets, Clara on the harp and Don on the piano or accordion, were shared in worship services, and as an outreach sharing the Gospel in the Knox County Jail, The Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville and Pickaway Correctional Institution.
Clara taught elementary classes in the Lexington Local School District, and was a member of First Church of the Nazarene in Mount Vernon
She is survived by her son Samuel (Karen) Martin of Finneytown; daughters Jeanine (David) Davenport of Mt. Vernon, Judith (Lachland) Galbraith of Phoenix, Arizona, Julie (John) Tressaloni of Lexington, Kentucky, Jann (Walter) Bruning of Cambridge, Joanna (Glen) Allen of Mt. Vernon, Jill (Bruce) Hawkins of Mt. Vernon, Heidi (Steve) Rader of Mt. Vernon, and Kimberly Fleming of Mt. Vernon; 32 grandchildren; and 17 great grandchildren
She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years Dr. Donald Thomas Martin on December 17, 2011. Also deceased are a grandson Chad Allen; and her siblings Cleva Bletz, Marjorie Davis, Evangeline Bletz, Emerson Bletz and Howard Bletz.
The family will receive friends Friday, December 28, 2012 from 1-3 p.m. in the Hilltop Community Church, 2943 German Church Road, Mansfield, where funeral services will begin at 3 p.m. Her nephew, Dan Davis will speak. Burial will follow in St. Peter's Cemetery.
Memorial contributions to the Muscular Dystrophy Association may be made through the funeral home.
The Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Martin family, and private condolences to them may be made online at: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com
Published in the News Journal on Dec. 25, 2012