MARTHA MAYER ERLEBACHER
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ERLEBACHER
MARTHA MAYER, age 75, of Elkins Park died on June 22, 2013. She was devoted wife of the late Walter S. Erlebacher and the loving mother of Adrian Erlebacher and Jonah Erlebacher. She is also survived by her brother, Edward Mayer, and by 4 grand-children. Services will be private. Memorial contri-butions may be made to the New York Academy of Art, for the Martha and Walter Erlebacher Scholarship Fund. (www.nyaa.edu)

BARON ROWLAND FUNERAL HOME
(www.baronrowlandfh.com)


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Published in Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News on Jun. 25, 2013.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Alexandro Berrios, her student
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35 entries
June 18, 2021
I was Martha’s neighbor for twenty years. I’ll never forget her.
Claudia beechman
Friend
June 18, 2020
We greatly miss you still Martha. Your love of others and the love of meaningful art still brings warmth to so many hearts.
Kemneth Freed
Friend
January 9, 2014
So sorry to hear of this news. Martha was a sublime teacher and I will never forget what she'd passed on to me. I owe much of my success to her wisdom.

Harry Bliss (NYC)
Harry Bliss
October 8, 2013
It is with a saddened heart that I just found out my dear friend from long ago has passed away. Martha was an incredible inspiration to me as a young woman. She advised, encouraged, consoled and sometimes even admonished me, but always with a loving smile. I met Martha through Walter, who was a friend of a friend of mine at PCA. As I was admiring some of the students work, he entered the room from behind me saying "I can tell you‘re Italian from here, my wife would just LOVE you!" THEN he introduced himself. He was right - Martha and I just "clicked", and for several years were quite close. She often called me the "daughter she never had". She couldn't get enough of my zucchini bread, which I tried to teach her to make once - we successfully made a disaster area out of her kitchen, but had great fun doing it!

Adrian and Jonas, I felt as if I knew you well in our youth, from all your parents shared with me. I am so very sorry for your loss, for the loss of each of your parents, as they were both remarkable beings! If there is anything I can do, or thoughts you'd like to share, please don't hesitate to contact me.

My dearest Martha, though life dragged me away - and I alone am to blame for our losing contact - you have never been out of my heart. I hope your journey to Walter was not too long, or painful, and know that you will forever be one of the greatest influences in my life. I love you forever, Michele.
Michele A. Maniscalco
September 16, 2013
I was saddened to hear of Martha's passing. I met her through my good friend Jasna (Martha's relative). Martha had no idea about the influence she had on me - I only wish now that I had let her know. When I first heard she was sick several year ago, I reached out to her and thought I could bring her dinner or get some groceries for her. I went over to her house and brought her dinner and I quickly realized that she had more energy than me! She then insisted on the next time I come - that she make dinner for me. And she did - she was an excellent cook! And once again she had more energy than me! I was so honored to get a tour of her studio as she was in the middle of her Avant Duck collection. Amazing work! She LOVED her boys and her grandchildren.

Martha was the "real deal" - a woman with courage, heart and talent. And she had a way about her that made you want to be better, or do better in this world. My sympathy to her family - may you all rest in the comfort of knowing she touched so many of us!
Beth Reilly
September 8, 2013
Very sad †o hear of Martha's passing.
Jillian Denby
August 18, 2013
We are very sorry to post at this late date. The art world has lost a great artist, teacher and curator. We had the pleasure to meet Martha in Amarillo, Texas. where she juried a fabulous show which featured Figurative Paintings. We were of kindred minds, and enjoyed her lecture immensely. So happy to have had this opportunity. She will be greatly missed.
Jeffrey Brailas
August 15, 2013
I am sorry to hear of Martha's passing. I was one of her models in the 90s. I also enjoyed working with her. I admired her talent and skill. My condolences to her family.
Yale Goldman
July 15, 2013
I met Martha on the tennis court. Friends introduced us. She was so much fun to play with. She had an "INcantation" (Matha's term) she would employ to keep the ball inside the lines. She gave us a tour of her studio once and I was so impressed by her paintings - especially the series on youth, middle age and death. When she became ill and stopped playing tennis, I would see her in our community. She was always upbeat and in good spirits. I will always remember her. She was a terrific person. It's sad to lose such a light.
Nora O'Neill
July 14, 2013
I loved Martha.
I met her on the tennis court about 15 years ago.
I was always a little late; she was always on time.
She'd be listening to books on tape in her car when I arrived.
We'd hit the court, but not before admiring the cloud formations above.
Though I'm a runner, winning a national race this year, Martha always beat me,
She had a tricky shot that skimmed the edge of the court. We both admitted
it was “sleazy”. We'd laugh a lot, talk about our grandchildren, complain about
politicians, or good books to read.
We had so much in common. We both taught college and then retired.
We loved good food and appreciated each other's cooking.
Later when Martha didn't have the energy to play tennis, we walked
along the Tookany Creek.
I used to meditate nearly every day to send Martha positive energy and
rid her body of cancer. One of my daughters did the same.
I'm not religious, so this was the best I could do.
I visited her frequently after the cancer got the best of her.
I massaged her feet and gave her lots of hugs because that is
what I would have wanted.
I asked her one day what it was like for her, dying that is.
She responded, “You don't want to know.”
She never complained. She said she had had a good life.
I loved Martha.
Sandy Folzer, Philadelphia, PA
July 14, 2013
I loved Martha.
I met her on the tennis court about 15 years ago.
I was always a little late; she was always on time.
She'd be listening to books on tape in her car when I arrived.
We'd hit the court, but not before admiring the cloud formations above.
Though I'm a runner, winning a national race this year, Martha always beat me,
She had a tricky shot that skimmed the edge of the court. We both admitted
it was “sleazy”. We'd laugh a lot, talk about our grandchildren, complain about
politicians, or good books to read.
We had so much in common. We both taught college and then retired.
We loved good food and appreciated each other's cooking.
Later when Martha didn't have the energy to play tennis, we walked
along the Tookany Creek.
I used to meditate nearly every day to send Martha positive energy and
rid her body of cancer. One of my daughters did the same.
I'm not religious, so this was the best I could do.
I visited her frequently after the cancer got the best of her.
I massaged her feet and gave her lots of hugs because that is
what I would have wanted.
I asked her one day what it was like for her, dying that is.
She responded, “You don't want to know.”
She never complained. She said she had had a good life.
I loved Martha.
Sandy Folzer, Philadelphia, PA
July 14, 2013
Martha was one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known: her energy, her enthusiasm and her amazing joy always inspired me to be more, to do more. As my long time tennis partner she was fierce and funny and I will miss her greatly. My deepest condolences go out to her family.
Lynn Jackson
July 13, 2013
Martha, Martha, another light has gone out. And such a special one. You were my best friend in High school, and in a secret place in my heart that is always how I think of you. Together as outliers we were able to be quirky in the suburbs, and your enthusiasm kept me going.
If it weren't for you I might not have started seeing my wonderful husband, Shelly. You were a bridesmaid at my wedding. In turn we were there when you and Walter married. We always cheered each other on but then went our separate ways on different sides of the country. That time seems like yesterday, but it is a lifetime away. Over the years we just kept in touch. Distance and different involvements pulled us apart. But we were so honored in recent years when you agreed to let us use your paintings as covers for Shelly's journal, “The Journal of Medicinal Food.” I was so proud. Now you are gone, Shelly is gone, Walter is gone. Once upon a time we seemed so durable , but life is like a dream. I never got to know your children, Adrian and Jonah, but I know they were lucky to be yours. To Adrian and Jonah, and Edward, I send my deepest condolences.

With a great sadness in my heart,
Joyce (Jahni) Hendler. Ph.D.
July 13, 2013
Martha and I were neighbors for 20 years. Shortly after our first meeting, I ran into her in the supermarket where she was gazing intently at a large lemon. We began to discuss zucchini. She said that the zucchini in her garden had quadrupled in size and she didn't know what to do with it.
She told me that a friend had once left one in the back seat of her car. The next day, I opened my car door, and there it was, the biggest zucchini I had ever seen. I decided to make zucchini bread. When I went over to deliver it, Martha, Walter and a guest were sitting on the deck. Martha invited me to join them. The level of discourse was such that when I got home, I had to get out my dictionary and look up a few words-- "homeostasis" and "Visigoth "come to mind.
I didn't discover that Martha was a renowned painter until later. I was reading the NYTimes Sunday Arts section and read that she was having a one woman show at the Schoelkopf Gallery in New York. I couldn't get over it! My Elkins Park-residing wag of a neighbor! Soon after, I discovered that her painting, "The Triumph of Spring" had made the cover of American Artist. No wonder she was scrutinizing that lemon! It probably was a candidate for one of her exquisite still-lifes.
I was in awe of Martha for a long time; I really was a bit star struck. One day, she called and said she had an extra ticket to see a performance. One of her models was appearing in a local opera. I was so happy to be in her company for a few hours. "Look at the sky"! she exclaimed as we walked out of the theatre.
Over the years, we shared many meals, lots of laughter and some sorrow. She visited me when I was in the hospital. We exchanged books and music.
It was wonderful to know someone with Martha's talent and erudition, but it was her honesty, generosity and warm heart that my family valued most of all. ( And whoa!!! I have to mention her bull* detector! "Ah, c'maaan!!!", she'd blurt out, in her Brooklynese, if she detected a note of insincerity). I love the way she trilled her r's, a remnant of her Hungarian roots of which she was so proud.
Martha loved children. She once told me that she had "grandmother envy". How wonderful that she lived to know all four of them!
She attended both of our boys' BarMitvahs and signed the RSVPs "thank you for inviting me". Barry, Beryl, Reid and I extend our condolences to Adrian, Jonah and the Erlebacher- Mayer families. I'll never forget you, Martha.
Claudia Beechman
July 12, 2013

I am so saddened to hear about Martha passing away.
I told her several times how important and inspiring she
was to me, studying at the Academy in New York. She was
a rare soul, wonderful painter, a real scholar and a person of rare courage. She was a real mentor to many artists.

Greg Decker
Greg Decker
July 7, 2013
Dear Martha,

It has been forty-five years since I sat on a stool between Adrian playing in his playpen, laundry washing in the washing machine, a load in the dryer all within arm's reach of your easel watching you in your elfin good humored manner paint a large figure composition.
I was supposed to be preparing for a review session on Descartes with Walter who was on the first floor of your Elkins Park coach house cooking up lead for what might have been his Death of Apollo. Given the challenge I would be facing that evening when Walter quizzed my comprehension, it was a pleasure to chat and be silly with you. I recall being happy, amused and full of admiration for your incredible madcap ability to preform so many tasks with aplomb. I don't believe I was conscious of taking in a drawing lesson but all these years later I realize how valuable it was to watch your hand move to create form.
In conveying the trust that the goal of the studio process was intellectual, vivid adventure, in effect, a way of coming to consciousness you and Walter gave me a useful push on to the path of meritorious artistic pursuit.
As I sit writing to you in my studio I cannot imagine having had a life without you and Walter. Having achieved some ration of studio success I can say it has been an artful, expressive, meaningful one.
On this sad occasion I want to express my condolences to Adrian, Jonah, your family, friends and admirers.
Dear Martha thank you for all your help.

With love,
Ronnie
Ronald M. Cohen
Ronald Cohen
July 2, 2013
I'm shocked! I just found out about her departure. Will always remember her fondly. The best teacher I ever had!
My deepest and warmest regards and sympathy for her family. We will miss her profoundly.
Jose DeJesus Zamora
July 1, 2013
She was a part of my life for only a short time, but she had a profound effect...changing the way I saw the world. A great person, and sourly missed.
Jesse Lord Johnson
June 30, 2013
Martha was one of the few people who I can say has directly shaped and influenced my life both as a fellow human being and artist. She will always represent the highest standard of the artist spirit for me and I will always strive for what she represented to me. We were all so fortunate to have known her. Alexandro- thanks for setting this guestbook up.
David Pettibone
June 29, 2013
Martha was an exceptional person. She was a kind, talented and compassionate lady. Martha had class. She was serious about her work and passionate. Martha is a role model for me by her life dedicated to painting, her passion for anatomy and her ability to balance family and work. She was supportive,generous and I only wish I had more years to study with and just hang out with her. I will always remember her asking me what I was eating one day at NYAA while she passed out of the stairwell. I told her it was the "starving artists diet=macaroni and cheese". She laughed like it was the funniest thing she ever heard. Some people were intimidated by her confidence..I saw her as a strong, beautiful and talented woman in love with her work. You will be missed Martha.
Noelle Knght-Lee
June 28, 2013
I was a model for Martha in the late 90s and early 00s. I was also a young female artist and Martha injected me with a beam of hope due to her ferocity, skill, blinding intellect, and-- above all, her supreme kindness. May her light shine on.
Jennifer Baker
June 27, 2013
I'm deeply saddened and I will miss Martha. She was very influential in my art education.
Alexandro Berrios
June 26, 2013
I am very grateful to have known Martha when she taught me painting at Moore College of Art. It was a privilege I never forgot. I kept the notes she gave us. I recall the warm stories she told us of her sons and her husband. She was a great talent and source of strength to all the artists who knew her. She will never be forgotten. With deepest sympathy, love and prayers, Caroline Ambs Niesley
Caroline Niesley
June 26, 2013
Martha was a very great artist and even greater compassionate human being, Denise Lisiecki and I considered her one of our best friends and looked to her for council and inspiration. She gave so much instruction in this region through workshops and her visits which helped shape many young artists. Now rest, sweet Martha.
Kenneth Freed
June 25, 2013
I was so lucky to have had the privilege of knowing her.Her paintings blew me away and inspire me to this day. She will be sorely missed on this planet.
Beth Foley
June 25, 2013
An amazing artist who will be missed. Rest in Peace.
sandra flood
June 25, 2013
Martha was such an inspiration to me as I emerged as a young artist. She was a beacon of light, and a shining star for the artworld! She will be remembered.

May she rest in peace,
Betty Shelton
June 25, 2013
Martha will be deeply missed, She was an enlightened soul in this world and a big inspiration to all of her students.
Michael Gaudioso
June 25, 2013
Martha was an incredible woman. My deepest condolences to her entire family.
Joseph Menna
June 25, 2013
Thank you, Martha, for your beautiful drawings and paintings and your intelligence, humor, idealism and example to generations of artists.
Don Lagerberg
June 25, 2013
We were very sad to hear about the loss of dear cousin Martha. She was a very kind and beautiful soul and we will miss her.
Gail Erlebacher-Weitz and Family
June 24, 2013
The Erlebacher family (Syracuse, NY) sends it's warmest and hearfelt sympathies.

Mark, Marci, Eric & Alec
June 24, 2013
Sorry for your lost. May the family find comfort in God's word the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16
Cheryl
June 24, 2013
We have lost a great artist. My sympathies to her fsmily.
Margaret Sutherland
June 24, 2013
May God hear your prayers as he comforts you through this difficult time. (Psalm 65:2)
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