Martha Haines, known to many as Grandma or Gigi, passed away peacefully Monday, February 20th, surrounded by family and friends. Born February 27th, 1916 in Missouri, she lived a long and exciting 95 years filled with love and many travels.|
She met the love of her life, Jack Haines, at the age of 14. They dated all through their years at North High School in Denver, Colorado. Some of their favorite times were dancing to big band music at Elitches Ballroom, where many times they would either hop the fence or sneak people in the trunk of the car… "Because it was 5 cents a dance, 10 cents to get in, so that meant we could get a few more dances because we didn't have much money back then." She and Jack were married May 4th, 1937 at Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus in Colorado Springs where Jack was attending.
She worked as a telephone operator until the birth of their first child, Nancy, in 1939. Their second daughter, Jan, arrived in 1943 just prior to Jack being shipped off to San Francisco to aid the Navy in teaching troops how to swim. After their time with the Navy, Martha and Jack moved back to Denver where they owned Billy's Inn Tavern, which is still a popular local bar today. After a few years in the bar business they moved on and Jack started his career with Dow Chemical. For the next 20 years they moved back and forth between Denver and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. They were also excited to have been asked to move to Rotterdam, Holland for 3 years to help Dow open a new chemical plant that would provide jobs and a boost to the economy in the wake of WWII. After retiring from Dow, Jack wanted to get back into the beer business. He made a call to a longtime friend in the Coors family and asked if there was a distributorship that was available.
In 1966, Martha and Jack moved to Yuma, Arizona and opened Haines and Son Distributing. They provided Coors Beer and Coca Cola from their warehouse on Arizona Avenue for over 20 years. During that time they also owned the Ice House on 3rd Street until he sold it to his son-in-law Jim Iwan. Longtime residents of the Hedema neighborhood might remember the "white" Christmases that occurred when Jack and Martha would grind up blocks of ice and spray it all over the front yard for the kids to play in Christmas morning. They loved and supported the Yuma community; some of their favorite events were the Silver Spur Rodeo and the Padres Spring Training. Martha took great pride in giving back to others; she sewed school clothes for Yuma's youth for the Assistance League and spent time in their shop.
Yuma also provided their next stage in life as Grandparents to Amy and Erik Iwan, and Jenny Haines. After retiring from his second career in 1986, Jack and Martha moved to Coronado, CA to be closer to their daughter Jan and granddaughter Jenny while Jack battled and finally succumbed to cancer in 1991. Martha enjoyed working as a volunteer at UCSD Medical Center, she also spent a lot of time volunteering for the many organizations that Jan was a member of in Coronado. One of her favorite activities was cruising, and in the last 20 years since her beloved Jack passed away she and her family tried to take a cruise every year where she would spend every day gazing out to sea. After Jan's sudden passing in 2005, Martha moved back to Yuma where she could be closer to the community she loved and the friends that she remained so close to. Since then her granddaughter Jenny, and husband Joe Moore, relocated to Yuma to be with her. They enjoyed many a Coors watching sunsets together while Martha told stories of her youth. Also while in Yuma Martha got to be closer to her first Great Grandchild Bailey Cunningham as she went through High School. She always had a great deal of fun on her birthday when her many friends would throw a giant birthday party for her, each year bigger and bigger. In the last year she was so proud to welcome her 3rd Great-Grandchild, Jack Moore, and spent many hours rocking him and cuddling him while he slept. Martha celebrated the arrival of 2012 in high-style by taking her last cruise with Jenny, Joe, Jack, and Joe's Mother Gayle.
Martha loved many people and was loved by so many in return. She was always the life of the party, sharing a toast and many laughs. Some of her last words were, "now everyone go and have a drink and a Hallelujah on me!"
Martha is survived by her daughter Nancy Iwan of Costa Rica, Granddaughter Amy Iwan of California, Grandson Erik Iwan of California, Granddaughter and Grandson Jenny and Joe Moore of Yuma, and Great-Grandchildren; Bailey Cunningham, Aiden Iwan, and Jack Moore.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to Hospice of Yuma who supported and cared for Martha and family in her last days, (928)343-2222. Services will be Saturday, Februrary 25th, 1pm, at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park, 1415 S. 1st Ave. in Yuma.
Published in The Yuma Sun from Feb. 23 to Feb. 25, 2012