Saturday, Apr 20, 2019

Martha Cleo (Martin) Myatt

12/25/1915 - 01/22/2015

Martha Cleo (Martin) Myatt, 104, died Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

She was born Dec. 25, 1910, to John and Bertha (Sanders) Martin, one of 13 children.

When she was 17 years old, she boarded a train alone, in the poor, rural southern Indiana of her childhood and went to Detroit, Mich. She found work keeping house and rearing the children of an auto executive. But, before she could give much help to her family back home, her mother and father passed within a year of each other.

She made her home in Detroit for the next 25 years. She helped her orphaned siblings as she could. She married Terry Earl Myatt of Texas in 1936, and they had three children. When her husband had to go off to war in the Aleutians and South Pacific, she went into the converted factories of Detroit turning out the needed machines for the war. Later, she took in her husband’s brothers, returning soldiers, until they could establish themselves.

In 1954 she brought her three children to Illinois to be near her brothers Don, Ernie and Wayne Martin. Howard Perkins kindly rented her a remote tenant house on his farm, and, with her job at the Admiral plant, her family thrived. Her love and caring was such that only in hindsight did her children realize they had been poor.

In 1965 she was able to buy a duplex house in Harvard, living in the front apartment and renting out the one in the back. Conscious of how difficult it had been for her to buy a house, she made the deliberate decision to rent to young married couples and make the rent affordable so that they could save for their own homes. Through the years, nine couples went straight from renting her apartment to owning their own homes, and they remained her dear friends.

Survivors include a daughter, Angie Bogard, and her children, James (Sheila) Johnson, Desiree (Eric) Nash and Scarlett Puckett; a daughter, Norma (Robert) Wearsch, and her children, Dennis (Sheila) Lundin, Donald (Coral) Lundin, Joel (Pam) Lundin and Kathy (Brian) Wearsch; a brother, Wayne (Josephine) Martin; many local and distant Martin nieces and nephews; 11 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; beloved friends, Donald Estes, Molly Held and Fran Schamper; a son in Michigan; and a son, Bing.

She was preceded in death by her parents and 11 siblings.

Arrangements were private. For people who knew her, her memorial is their remembrances of her. For people who didn’t know Martha Myatt, then behold an American centenarian of substance.