Martha I. Wilcox, age 69, of Mount Gilead, died Wednesday afternoon, August 14, 2013, at the Riverside Methodist Hospital following an extended illness.
On January 20, 1944, Martha was born in Zanesville, Ohio, one of six children of the late George Jr. and Faye (Grimes) Brown. As a family, they moved to Strongsville, when Martha was 10 years old, where she graduated from Strongsville High School.
At the wedding of her brother, Sam, Martha was introduced to the bride's brother, Norman Wilcox, and before the night was over another bond was formed. Soon thereafter, Martha and Norman were married on January 26, 1963, at Bennett's Corner, Ohio. Then, in 1966, on the day their third child (Susan) was born, they moved to Mount Gilead, where they would raise their four children and spend the rest of their 50 years of marriage together.
A loving homemaker, Martha always made sure her family was well taken care of. She also had a very welcoming nature, and her door was always open to anyone. Her family and her children's friends all congregated at Martha's house, where they were spoiled by her great cooking. She made everything from scratch and with love, and there are countless dishes she was famous for, most especially her pies, potato salad, and vegetable soup. Her house was also open to animals, as she loved rescuing strays and trying to find them a good home.
Helping to make ends meet, Martha sold Avon products and Bee-Line Clothing for many years.
After raising her children, Martha followed her dream of becoming a teacher by returning to college in 1985, at the age of 41. She proudly earned her bachelor's degree in secondary science education from the Ohio State University
, graduating with honors and distinction in 1991. She worked for several years as a substitute teacher at many local schools, teaching middle school and high school science. She had an excellent rapport with her students-- she liked them and they liked her.
Having a green thumb, every year Martha looked forward to spring when she could tend to her garden and watch everything bloom. She was very knowledgeable about flowers, and loved gardening.
When her children were younger, Martha attended the Gilead Friends Church in Mount Gilead.
Always there for her family, Martha was the best wife, mother, and grandmother that her family could have asked for. She was ""fantastic"" for so many reasons.
She will be dearly missed by her husband, Norman Wilcox Sr. of Mount Gilead; four children: Melissa (Richard) Sliger of Lewis Center, Diana (Jack) Matalka of Cincinnati, Susan (Michael) Morris of Lewis Center, and Norman ""Tom"" Wilcox Jr. of Columbus; six grandchildren: Nicholas and Zachary Sliger, Brandie and Brandon Matalka, and Brittany and Lee Morris; a sister and two brothers: Marilyn Bohn of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Sam (Betty) Brown of Galion, and Paul (Carol) Brown of Cleveland; numerous nieces and nephews and family friend, Cheryl Alspach.
Including her parents, Martha was preceded in death by her brother, Joe Brown; sister, Sally Nolan Kirkbride; and brother-in-law Jack Bohn.
Her family will greet friends from 2 – 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 18th, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring her life will also be held there on Monday at 1:30 p.m., with Pastor Brian Mosher officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery in Chesterville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Immune Deficiency Foundation (http://primaryimmune.org
), and the Humane Society of Morrow County. Donations may be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Martha's family and your private condolences may be expressed to them online by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.