Martha Belle Russell Bretz

Martha Belle Russell Bretz was born December 22, 1917 at the home of her maternal grandparents, Ezra and Nancy Belle Goodman in the Buda community in Ness County. She was the oldest child of Jim and Clara Russell of rural Lane County, Alamota, Kansas. She died Friday, January 23, 2015 at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.  

Martha Belle attended school at the Cotton Wood School, (the same one her father had attended and also where she later taught school). She graduated from Lane County High School in 1936. She taught school for nine years in rural schools. She liked teaching, and loved and respected all her pupils. She married Marvis Bretz, April 22, 1945 at the Christian Church in Dighton with Marvis’ brother, Rev Charles Bretz officiating.

Martha Belle belonged to the First Christian Church of Dighton where she served as Jr. Superintendent. She was also a deaconess in the church for many years. She was a charter and life member of the Ladies Auxiliary to VFW #6438, a member of the American Legion #190 Ladies Auxiliary, a member of the Lane County Historical Society and a life member of the VFW National home for children. She was a Dighton Goldiggers 4H cooking project leader and a Cub Scout den mother.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Marvis, her parents, Jim and Clara Russell, 1 sister Lucille Coble and 2 brothers, Elias Russell and Cliff Russell. She is survived by her much loved children, Patty and David Cooper of Katy, Texas and Russell and Connie Bretz of Dighton. Other survivors include her grandchildren Shawn and Melissa Cooper, Marisha Cooper, Allen & Jenny Bretz, Andy Bretz and Austin Bretz and great grandsons, Travis Cooper, Dylan Cooper and Jason Bretz. Other loved ones surviving are Dana Jones, Margaret Morgan, Mike Russell and Frances Friesen.

Funeral Service will be 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at the First Christian Church in Dighton with Rev. Aerii Smith and Pastor Alana Chapman officiating. Burial will follow at Dighton Memorial Cemetery. Friends may call from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and 9:00 a.m. to Noon on Wednesday at Boomhower Funeral Home in Dighton. Family requests that memorials be given to the First Christian Church or the Lane County Library in care Boomhower funeral home.

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