The family of Marie (Merth) Martin celebrated her 90th birthday on Sabbath, Aug. 20, 2016. Family members gathered from as far away as New York, Michigan and California for a picnic in Fort Walla Walla Park in Walla Walla, Wash.
Marie was born in Portland, Ore., the sixth child in a family that would eventually include nine children. Her mother was a Seventh-day Adventist, but her father, raised a staunch Catholic, wanted Marie to attend Catholic school as a little girl. Her mother took Marie to Sabbath School on Saturday, but Marie also had to attend Catholic services on Sunday with her father. Eventually her father became an Adventist.
As a young girl growing up during the Depression, Marie's family moved around the Portland area while her father found various jobs. Some of her favorite memories are of living "out in the country" in Tigard, Ore. Marie attended Portland Union Academy (now Portland Adventist Academy) during her freshman year, where she became involved in music — singing in choir and trios. Her father's love of music had been passed on to her.
The family moved to Berkeley, Calif., where her father got a new job and Marie went to Golden Gate Academy her sophomore year. Her musical talents gained her many friendships there also. But once again the family moved, this time to Pendleton, Ore. Marie found herself at Yakima Valley Academy her junior and senior years, always involved in music and making new friends, including a Pendleton boy, LaVern Henderson. After her graduation in 1944, the two were married.
After LaVern served in the Army, he and Marie both worked at Harris Pine Mills in Pendleton, having three children. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last.
Marie eventually married Jim Martin, a forester with the U.S. Forest Service, and continued to live in Pendleton, working as a secretary, medical transcriptionist and other office clerical positions. Her husband transferred to Walla Walla, Wash., in 1977, and Marie continued working — eventually retiring from the Veterans Affairs Hospital.
She has always enjoyed going back to see the many friends she made at Golden Gate Academy reunions, as well as those for Yakima Valley Academy. The couple live on 10 acres just west of Whitman Mission where they enjoy a herd of deer and many beautiful sunsets.
Marie's family includes Joan (Henderson) Santee of College Place, Wash.; Gary and Kathy (Ford) Henderson of Woodland, Wash.; Karen (Henderson) and Patrick Andrews of McBride, British Columbia, Canada; 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.