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Martha T. Napier

1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Martha T. Napier Obituary
Martha T. Napier

Rancho Mirage - Martha T. Napier, age 90, died on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage, California. She was born in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, on August 23, 1927, to William and Hattie Tatum. She grew up there, attended Georgetown College, and on February 7, 1947, married Gerald Napier. Over the next few years, she and Gerry had a daughter and two sons, and nothing delighted Martha more than serving her husband and children with love and encouragement. She always saw and brought out the best in those around her. As Gerry's career progressed, requiring transfers and relocations, Martha perfectly complemented his business acumen with her own extraordinary gifts of homemaking, hospitality, and reaching out to others. She became a dear friend to many everywhere they lived: Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, and later Cincinnati, New York, San Francisco, Palm Desert, and finally Rancho Mirage. In each location, she became active in the community and served in a variety of volunteer capacities for Girl Scouts, ballet, symphony, and church; she and Gerry became members of Friendship Church Palm Desert in 2002. One morning in San Francisco, as she walked past a neighborhood park, Martha noticed a small group of Asian men and women doing a form of exercise she had never seen. She asked if she might join them, and that began her nearly 40-year love of the slow, graceful movements of tai chi—it suited her perfectly. By the time Gerry retired as president of I. Magnin & Co. in 1988 and they moved from San Francisco to Sun City Palm Desert, Martha had become an accomplished tai chi leader and invited anyone who might be interested to join her. That led to a class of as many as 80 people, and she faithfully led them five mornings a week for many years. Martha was a life-long learner and, especially in later years, studied the Bible with joy and wonder, further deepening her love for Jesus Christ. She and Gerry also traveled extensively, and she managed to perfect the art of traveling light with sparkle and style, even to the most remote places in the world. Martha was preceded in death by Gerry, her beloved husband of almost 70 years. She is survived by her children, Yvonne Ricketts (James), Guy Napier (Joan), and Mark Napier (Maureen); her grandchildren, Shannon Napier, Martha Nippert (Zack), Sean Napier, and Michael Napier; and her great-granddaughter, Mabel Nippert. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at 11:00 am in the Ramon Chapel at Forest Lawn Cathedral City, California. Burial will follow at nearby Desert Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Martha's name to Friendship Church or to Gideon Bibles. Truly, "her children rise up and call her blessed" (Proverbs 31:28).
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Mar. 1, 2018
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