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Memorial services for Martha Williams of Morris, MN will be held Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Morris, MN, with Reverend Dan Belgum-Blad officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will be at a later date in Summit Cemetery in Morris, MN.
Martha Williams, age 93, of Morris, passed away early on the morning of Tuesday, April 24, at her home in Morris. She had been under hospice care for a little over a year. Knute Nelson Hospice did the very capable work. What cheery faces!
We appreciate the Barrett Care Center for getting her back on her feet after a bad health spell about a year ago.
Mom's soul is now in heaven where she joins precious family members. Martha was born on June 8, 1924, in Brainerd MN to Andrew and Hilda Ohlson. Social Security was enacted at the end of Andrew's life and he passed on when his first check was en route to him. Hilda lived long enough to make Morris her home with the whole Williams family. Ralph, Martha, Hilda and Brian moved into their house on Northridge Drive. The family enjoyed three dogs through the years: Misty, Heidi and Sandy.
Martha grew up in Brainerd, a company town then with the railroad, and graduated from high school there in 1942. She attended all her class reunions. She performed musically in ceremonies for the Brainerd National Guard unit which tragically got captured by the Empire of Japan in the Philippines.
Martha had a lifelong passion for music with her husband Ralph. Ralph was the founder of UMM music. Martha played violin in the UMM orchestra under Ralph's direction. She stayed home for the UMM men's chorus trip to the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, but went along with son Brian for the men's chorus trip to the New York World's Fair in 1964. What exciting times.
Martha attended Hamline University, St. Paul, and then came home during her second year to help the family after her father's death. At Hamline she became friends with future movie actress Coleen Gray. Martha worked in the office of the Hickerson Garment Factory, Brainerd, and gave piano lessons at Geisler Music Studio. She became married to Ralph in 1949. They lived in St. Paul where Ralph taught at the University of Minnesota, and also at their lake home in Nisswa MN. In 1960 they came to Morris where Ralph helped launch the fledgling U of M-Morris.
Martha worked for 26 years at UMM in the bookstore and the post office. She was known for having a rapid gait across the campus.
Ralph and Martha had their lives enriched by their close friendship with next-door neighbors Les and Virginia Lindor. They were active in the UMM Retirees Association, Sons of Norway Lodge and Heart to Heart. They traveled with the Good Sam RV Club. Son Brian sent Mom on many exciting motor coach tours after she retired. Martha and Ralph were very devoted to First Lutheran Church in Morris. Martha and Brian enjoyed attending the Wednesday night "burgers, beverages and blessings" at the Met Lounge side room (where we always ordered swiss burgers). A member of that little group referred to the event as "burgers and belches."
Martha was primarily devoted to her church and to the University. The Brainerd lakes area remained a part of her. May her memory be blessed.
Mom's last 48 hours or so were difficult, but prior to that she was always able to enjoy life albeit with challenges due to age and various health issues. Like Dad, we greatly appreciated the blessing of medical science! She had a pacemaker from Centracare for the last several years of her life. Brian will find it hard now attending church alone, at least for a while. I think Mom would want me to stay associated. Her spiritual life was a high priority for her. She grew up in a Swedish Covenent Church. Her siblings Mildred and Edwin preceded her in death. We were so hoping Mom would reach age 94! We all must follow God's design in our lives.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Ralph and Martha Williams Fund to benefit music at the University of Minnesota - Morris. Contact Erin Christensen at 320-589-6067.
Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements.