Martha Sue Garner-Holman

Martha was born Dec. 28, 1949 and suddenly passed on Monday, April 11, 2016. She is survived by her husband of 45 years Bari, brother John Garner, daughters Megan Reeder-Holman and Lael Garner-Weadock, sons-in-law David Reeder and Brian Weadock, and grandchildren Annika and Tate Reeder-Holman.

Martha was blessed to spend her first 18 years in Batavia, Ohio and served as President of the Batavia High School Class of 1967. She had a great ability to rally people to a cause and organized at least one “sit-in” at high school (she won). She then enrolled at Bluffton College where she continued her activism earning a BS in Home Economics in 1971. Her first job was teaching Home Economics at inner city schools in Cincinnati. It was very different from the small town environment she grew up in, but she loved it and started touching lives.

A few years later she began work with teenage boys in group home settings which led her to earn a Master’s in Social Work at the University of Kansas. Her amazing ability to help people was evident throughout her long career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing psychotherapy. She leaves behind many clients who are better off because of the emotional work she enabled them to do.

Upon retirement Martha served her local community by election to the Heritage at Miami Bluffs Advisory Committee. She gave 3 intense years to the development of community cohesion, governance, and the financial well-being of the Home Owner’s Association. She loved the people very much. It was difficult to move away in 2015 to Denver where she and Bari felt called to provide a grandparent presence.

Martha was a survivor of the 1952 polio epidemic. She endured childhood surgeries and braces, eventually regaining the ability to walk. However, it was her personality that was so large and so loved. Gradually the post-polio syndrome that accompanies aging weakened her and she depended on a scooter to get around, which she did with great energy and enthusiasm. Her scooter carried her on many ocean cruises, through the Panama Canal twice; Rome; down the rocky ruins of Ephesus, Turkey; into Antarctica and up the Amazon River, and most recently Yellowstone National Park.

Martha was a “giver” always ready to make whatever community she found herself in a better place. She is dearly missed.

The Cincinnati area Memorial Service will be held 11am Monday, April 25 at the Clubhouse of Heritage At Miami Bluffs, 1477 Heritage Blvd, Maineville, Ohio. Gifts in Martha’s honor in lieu of flowers may be sent to (please note Martha’s name on check):

Batavia High School Alumni Association
PO Box 294
Batavia, OH 45103
(note Martha Garner-Holman Scholarship Fund)


Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati
4910 Para Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45237

A Denver area Memorial Service will be held 10am Saturday, April 30 at First Universalist Church, 4101 E. Hampden Ave, Denver, CO. Gifts in Martha’s honor in lieu of flowers may be sent to: (please note Martha’s name on check)

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
PO Box 1560
Denver, CO 80201-1560