The Ottumwa Courier

November 28, 2012

Martha Birchmier, 81, Centerville


CENTERVILLE — Martha Lou “Marti” Birchmier, 81, of Centerville, died Nov. 22, 2012, at Golden Age Care Center in Centerville.

She was born Oct. 11, 1931, in What Cheer to Frank Dewitt and Eva Belle (Feagins) Benge. Martha married Richard W. Birchmier on June 16, 1952, in St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Oskaloosa.   

She graduated from Washington High School in 1949 and worked at Canary Cottage in Oskaloosa.

Marti and Richard lived in Cedar Rapids, Savannah, Milton, Indianola, Greenfield, West Des Moines, Shenandoah and Centerville. She was a great and loving wife and mother to their seven children. She was very supportive of their seven children’s education and extracurricular activities. She loved history and did extensive genealogy work on the Benge family line. Her joy was her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. Martha also loved get-togethers with the Benge and Birchmier families.

After her children were grown, she worked at Henry Fields and Spurgeons store in Shenandoah. After Richard’s retirement in 1994, they spent time in Florida in the winter, and she enjoyed the ocean and nature. Martha was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville, the 18-80 Club and the Davis County Genealogical Society.

Survivors include her husband, Richard; two daughters, Suzanne J. Birchmier of Centerville and Cynthia L. Hunt of Maryville, Mo.; four sons, Richard L. (Peggy) of Milton, Randall R. (Karen) of Maitland, Fla., Michael A. (Paula) of Kansas City, Mo., and Thomas D. (Raegan) of Albia; 17 grandchildren, David Lee Birchmier, Emily Ann Birchmier, Jennifer Marie Lemke, Jason Walter Birchmier, Branden Lee Hunt, Adriane Suzanne (Phillip) Moser, Whitney (Richard) Hunt, Ashley Martha Hunt, Randall Erik Birchmier, Kaitlin Inge Birchmier, Chelsea Suzanne Birchmier, Rachel Lucille Birchmier, Miles Jorden Birchmier, Joel Wesley Birchmier, Joe Aiden Birchmier, Chris Lee Kilofoyle and Ryleigh Michelle Birchmier; eight great-grandchildren, Audrey Darlene Lemke, Gregory Leonard Birchmier, Saffron Suzanne Birchmier, Temperance Martha Birchmier, Caleb Ray Peterson, Makenzie Kay Lemke, Blaine Russell Moser and Gavin Lee Moser; one brother, Jess C. (Nancy) Benge of Norwalk; four sisters, Jane Kibler of Springville, Audrey (Larry) Christy of Mt. Pleasant, Carol (Phil) Crippin of Carlisle and Glorene (Larry) Claus of Kansas City, Kan.

She was preceded in death by one son, Gregory Walter; her parents; one brother, Richard W. Benge; and one granddaughter, Jerrica Ann Bracelin Lemke.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville; with Father Bill Hubmann officiating. A fellowship dinner will follow in the basement of St. Mary’s Church immediately following Mass. Burial will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Troy Cemetery, east of Bloomfield. 

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, with the family present from 6-8 p.m. and a rosary at 5:30 p.m. Friday. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established to either the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the 18-80 Club, the Golden Age Care Center,or the Alzheimer’s Association and may be given to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. 

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