Martha T. Holtel of Connersville, Indiana died peacefully at home January 16, at the age of 105, surrounded by her loving family.
Martha was born on September 5, 1915 in Enochsburg, Indiana, to Ferdinand Volk and Theresa Huser Volk, and was the youngest of ten children. She spent her childhood on the family farm in Enochsburg, and attended school in Batesville, Indiana and Oldenburg Academy, receiving her certification to teach elementary school, and received an Honorary Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marian College in 1997.
Martha’s teaching career began in Oak Forest, Indiana, where she taught grades one through eight in a one-room schoolhouse, equipped with a wood stove and an outhouse. Her teaching career was put on hold when she met and married “her handsome soldier”, Marcellus T. Holtel of Oldenburg, Indiana on April 27, 1943. Martha and Marcy eventually settled in Connersville, after Marcy was honorably discharged from serving his country in WW II.
After raising her family, Martha returned to the workplace, first as a teacher at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School and then as activities director for Fayette County Senior Services. She then devoted her time and efforts to volunteering in her community, giving thousands of hours to the Fate Center, the Fayette Memorial Ladies Hospital Auxiliary, visiting nursing home patients and making over 6,000 rosaries for missions. Martha was a devout member of St. Gabriel Parish, serving on the Bereavement Committee until the age of 99, and was one of the founding members of the Legion of Mary.
Besides her husband, Marcy who died on December 24, 1980, three sons in-law preceded Martha in death: John L. Showalter, Robert Manchir, and Robert Fields. She is survived by her seven children: Judith Showalter of Connersville, Donna (Ed) Blotkamp of West Bloomfield, MI, Therese (Larry) Hollis of Greenfield, IN, Mary Manchir of Richmond, IN, Raymond Holtel of Connersville, IN, James (Jaclyn) Holtel of New Palestine, IN, and Elizabeth Fields of Richmond, IN, also, 22 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, 5 great –great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Due to current health restrictions, the family has arranged for private services for her large family only. Visitation will be Wednesday evening at Showalter Blackwell Long and Mass of Christian Burial at St. Gabriel’s Church on Thursday with Father John Geis officiating. Father Geis was Martha’s nephew/godson and lifetime prayer partner. The Mass of Christian Burial will be live streamed, at
https://youtu.be/tvigdziZuvY. Burial will be in Dale Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, 232 W 9th St, Connersville, IN 47331. For more information or to leave condolences for the family please visit www.ShowalterBlackwellLong.com.