MOUNT VERNON — Clara Martin was clothed with strength and dignity and she laughed without fear of the future. (Prov. 31:26) As a pastor’s wife, she served the congregation alongside her husband, shepherding the church. All her years of supporting her husband in the ministry, her faithful service, was her offering to God. (Phil. 2:17)
Clara is at rest from her service, as she went to be with the Lord, Sunday morning, Dec. 23, 2012, from her daughter’s Cambridge area home. She was 92.
Born Clara Evelyn Bletz on April 15, 1920, in Mansfield, she was the daughter of Edward and Clara (Lehnhart) Bletz. She was graduated valedictorian from Madison High School in 1938, and earned her Bachelor’s in Education from Ashland University in 1942. She later studied at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.
On April 18, 1948, she married Dr. Donald Thomas Martin, and later that same year her role as a pastor’s wife began with First Friends Church. Continuing their work in the Lord, in the 1990s Clara and Don founded what is now New Life Church of the Nazarene in Mount Vernon.
Clara, an accomplished harpist, was regularly accompanied by Don as they incorporated music into their ministry. Together, their duets, with Clara on the harp and Don on the piano or accordion, were shared in worship services and as part of their outreach sharing the Gospel in the Knox County Jail and The Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville and Pickaway Correctional Institution.
Clara taught elementary classes in the Lexington Local School District, and was a member of First Church of the Nazarene in Mount Vernon.
She is survived by her son, Samuel (Karen) Martin of Finneytown; daughters, Jeanine (David) Davenport of Mount Vernon, Judith (Lachland) Galbraith of Phoenix, Ariz., Julie Tresaloni of Lexington, Ky., Jann (Walter) Bruning of Cambridge, Ohio, Joanna (Glen) Allen of Mount Vernon, Jill (Bruce) Hawkins of Mount Vernon, Heidi (Steve) Rader of Mount Vernon and Kimberly Fleming of Mount Vernon; 31 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Dr. Donald Thomas Martin, on Dec. 17, 2011. Also deceased are a grandson, Chad Allen; son-in-law, John Tresaloni; and her siblings, Cleva Bletz, Marjorie Davis, Evangeline Bletz, Emerson Bletz and Howard Bletz.
The family will receive friends Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Hilltop Community Church, 2943 German Church Road, Mansfield, where funeral services will begin at 3 p.m. Her nephew, Dan Davis ,will speak. Burial will follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Memorial contributions to the Muscular Dystrophy Association may be made through the funeral home.
The Lexington Avenue Funeral Home is honored to serve the family, and private condolences to them may be made online a www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.