Edna Martin

Edna passed away on October 13, 2019 at Garden Hills in Spearfish, SD.  Thank you to her caregivers at Edgewood Vista, Tender Care, and Garden Hills assisted living facilities.  A special thank you to Gwen Martin who looked in on Mom daily; we should all have a caregiver like Gwen during our last days.
Edna Elda Kolb Martin was born on July 11, 1921, in Date, South Dakota, to Gottlieb and Katherine (Oberlander) Kolb.  She and her eight brothers and four sisters spoke German at home and learned English in grade school.  Edna graduated from Bison High School in 1939.  After graduation, she worked for the Kast and Lauren families as a housekeeper.  She then worked for the NYA (National Youth Administration) and relocated to Timber Lake.  She wrote in her scrapbook that she and the rest of the girls scrubbed floors on their hands and knees until their knees were rubbed raw and red.  While there, she met Lowell Martin who picked up his sister, Eulala, on weekends.  Lowell also gave Edna rides home and a romance soon blossomed.  
Lowell and Edna were married on December 6, 1941.  They settled on the homestead north of Coal Springs that was originally owned by John and Olga Martin, Lowell’s parents, beginning in 1926.  Lowell and Edna had eight children:  Jerry (Peggy Anderson), Janice (Watson Tidball), Russell, Debra “Debby” (Jack Vetter), Beverly, Lynn, Gwen, and Alden “Corby” (Kim Larson).  Edna was active with the Ladies Aide and attended Indian Creek Lutheran Church for many years.
Edna’s work was never done with all those kids. She was an excellent cook, raised gardens and canned every year, butchered chickens, ground beef, and packaged both, patched clothes, darned socks, and everything else from laying carpet, to rewiring electrical stuff, to tearing out the old coal furnace.  She was especially good at the sewing arts; she sewed Easter dresses, prom dresses, suit jackets, and drew her own dress and coat patterns from clothes she saw in stores.  She took a tailoring class and, needless to say, the plaids in her garments always matched.  She also knitted, crocheted, quilted, tatted, and embroidered.  As with many women of her generation, there wasn’t much she couldn’t accomplish when she set her mind to it.  Oh, and she could wield a fly swatter…sometimes it wasn’t just flies she zeroed in on.
In 1977, after Lowell passed away, Edna and the youngest two kids moved to Spearfish where she spent the rest of her years.  She worked at LaMode Dress Shop doing clothing alterations and later worked there as a salesclerk.
Edna bought old sewing machines (mostly treadles), refinished, and repaired them so they would sew again.  She was extremely proud of this accomplishment.  She entered a picture of them in the fair and had a little party in the garage to show them off.  She would show them to whomever walked into her  house.
Edna traveled extensively during her retirement years and went to every dance she could.  Besides sewing, dancing was her other love, especially waltzes and polkas.  She liked Halloween dances and she and her good friend, Georgine Wolf, dressed up as skunks, a monkey and organ grinder, and as chickens over the years.  Because there were never enough men at the dances, one-year Edna dressed up as a man and she and another lady went to a dance in Rapid City.  She did such a good job on the costume that the ladies thought she was a man.  Those ladies weren’t very happy when they found out she was a woman.  Mom was disgusted and said, “those people don’t have a sense of humor in Rapid.”
Edna is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lowell; seven brothers: Reinhold (Carol), Theodore (Pat), Leopold “Lee” (Irene), Alvin, Art (Elnora), Albert, and Herbert (Jessie) Kolb; four sisters: Martha (Alvin) Sperle, Helen (Emmanuel and Edwin) Sperle, Alma (Bill) Keil, Emma (Albert) Lutz; brother-in-law, Dean Martin and her great-grandson, Chris Tidball.  She is survived by one brother, Walter (Jeannette) Kolb; three sisters-in-law:  Berniece (Albert) Kolb, Rose (Floyd) Martin, and Lillian (John) Martin; eight children; seven grandchildren; eighteen great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mom, you probably wouldn’t be considered the warm fuzzy, lovey-dovey type, but in your waning years you sure gave good strong hugs.  We love you and will miss your sense of humor and fun spirit.  When we hear the distant rumble of thunder, we’ll know it’s you polkaing up a storm.  Rest in Peace.
How can mere words capture the life of our 98-year-old mother?  We will do our best.  When asked for a memory from her kids, here were some responses:  
Coming home from school to the aroma of freshly baked bread and cinnamon rolls;
When Mom would form bread dough rolls and we’d try to swipe some bread dough from the pan, she’d pop the bread dough roll against your face;
When Mom fell on a Deadwood street, she told the male nurse at the hospital who had to cut her jeans off that “that better be as far as you go” (his face turned red and he cracked up);
Mom was visiting with a couple of neighbor ladies when one of them said something funny and Mom spewed coffee from her mouth...they all just laughed harder;
One of the boys brought his laundry home from college and Mom asked him when he was going to marry that girl he was dating as she was getting tired of doing his laundry...he replied “none of your business” (wonder if he would have sped up the process if she’d quit doing his laundry?).
We also remembered some of Mom’s sayings, like “IF stands in the corner stiff”, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, “you have to suffer to be beautiful”, “I said no and I don’t mean maybe,“ “do as I say not as I do,” and “no use crying over spilt milk.”  These bits of wisdom were subject to interpretation, depending on the situation.
Memorial service will be at 10:30am, Saturday, June 27, 2020 at the Meadow Galloway Cemetery in Meadow, SD.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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