Martha Ruth (Yocum) Lytle

Lytle, Martha Ruth (Yocum),

78, of St. Matthews

Our beloved Martha - wife, mother, sister, grandmother ("Mimi") and friend - was taken home into the Loving Arms of our Heavenly Father on Friday, January 30, 2015.

Martha was born to Forest Jerome and Ruth Vivian (Owen) Yocum in March, 1936. South Bayly Avenue in the Crescent Hill neighborhood was her childhood home and Crescent Hill Baptist Church was her spiritual home.

After graduation from Atherton High School in 1953, Martha entered Georgetown College where she and Norman Lytle met and began dating. Martha was active in campus activities and her summers were spent in volunteer mission projects: one summer working with Mexican children in Fort Worth, TX and a summer working in a youth camp. Following her graduation in 1957, Martha and Norman were married in the church of her youth. In February, 1958, they sailed by ship for a

1 1/2-year assignment in Israel, teaching in a Baptist children's home/school and studying Hebrew and biblical geography.

In 1964, after completing studies at Southern Baptist Seminary, the Lytles began 34 years of overseas ministries under the International Mission Board of the SBC. During 29 years in Israel and five years in Russia, Martha served as children's Bible teacher; youth leader; assistant director of Baptist Village (Israel) Camp & Conference Center in charge of summer camps; one term on the school board of the American International School in Israel; and Russian Baptist women's work.

Upon retirement in 1998, Martha became active in the women's mission organization of her home church and was elected to one term on the Executive Board of the Kentucky Baptist Women's Missionary Union. For the past fifteen years, Martha was active in ministries among internationals in Louisville through the Friendship International ministry, of which she was director for two years. Deeply passionate about her civic responsibilities, Martha served as clerk for her voting precinct for the past ten years.

Martha loved and was deeply devoted to her family and grandchildren who grew to twelve in number., Martha, with three other grandparent couples and their grandchildren, helped to organize and direct a "Grandparent's Camp" each summer at their retreat cabins near Mt. Vernon, KY.

The overwhelming consensus describing Martha is her "radiant, beautiful, glowing smile" that "lights up a room" and is pleasant "to make eye contact with" in conversation. She is also described as a gentle spirit, kind, hospitable, caring, accepting, loving, and gracious by those who have known and worked with her in different cultural contexts. Martha's gracious spirit will be deeply missed by those among whom she has served.

The family have been abundantly blessed by the compassionate care of doctors, nurses, aides and housekeeping staff in the oncological unit at Baptist Health to whom we are most grateful.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents, Forest and Ruth Yocum.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Norman F. Lytle; brother, Jerry Yocum (Joey) of Newtown Square, PA; children, Beth Holthusen (Greg) of Winston-Salem, NC; Ted Lytle of Louisville, KY; and Nathan Lytle (Linda) of Franklin, TN; 12 grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and a great host of friends.

A celebration of Martha's life will be held at 11 am Saturday at Crescent Hill Baptist Church, 2800 Frankfort Ave. with interment at Cave Hill. Visitation will 4-7 pm Friday at Arch L. Heady-Cralle, 2428 Frankfort Ave. and after 10 am Saturday at church.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to Friendship International; Oncology Unit at Baptist Health; or Mission Outreach Projects at her church.

Please leave a condolence message for the family at;


Funeral Home

Arch L. Heady-Cralle Funeral Home
2428 Frankfort Ave Louisville, KY 402062522
(502) 896-8821

Published in The Courier-Journal from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6, 2015