Martha "Marty" Jane Zell Ward, age 83, died on July 7, 2023. She was born March 14, 1940, in Connersville, IN and was the third daughter of Russell and Norma (Hibbs) Zell. When Martha was 2 years old, the family moved to Kentland, in northern Indiana and lived there for many years. On July 3, 1965, Martha married Richard Ward at Trinity Methodist Church in Kentland. Marty and Richard met at University Hospitals in Madison, WI where she was a graduate student, and he was serving his medical surgical residency in Otolaryngology. Martha received her BS from Purdue University in 1962 and an MS in audiology and speech language pathology from the University of Wisconsin in 1963. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority and Mortar Board Honorary at Purdue. Her speech and language therapy work led Martha to therapy positions in hospitals, rehabilitation programs and public schools over the years, first in Madison, WI and then in Appleton which was home to the Ward family for many years.
Martha’s interest in language led her to related areas such as reading, teaching, and writing. Her daughter Susan said Martha was a “word-ologist.” She wrote and published a small book which featured recipes for cat and dog treats in 1997, Doggie Delights and Kitty Cuisine. For many years, Martha was an avid runner, walker, biker, and participant in many water-related sports such as swimming, sailing, wind surfing, kayaking and even fly fishing with Richard. For ten years following their retirement in 1995, Martha and Richard lived at their Crystal Lake cottage in Marquette County returning to Appleton in 2005.
An active member of Memorial Presbyterian Church, Martha taught church school for several years and served as a Deacon and Elder. She did volunteer work for charitable organizations and activities in the Appleton community, served on the Town of Grand Chute Park Commission and was an elected member of the Outagamie County Board of Supervisors for ten years. She was a member of the Fortnightly Club and the Fox West YMCA where she regularly swam and worked out for many years.
Martha is survived by her children: Susan and Jeffrey as well as sisters: Virginia (Roger) Gale, Elizabeth (Robert) Gordee, and Margaret (Paul) Robinson; and sister-in-law Kay Ward. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews, and other extended family. Preceding her in death are her husband Richard, parents Russell and Norma, Richard’s parents as well as Richard’s brother Robert and sister-in-law Karen Ward.
A memorial service will be held for Marty on Thursday July 13, 2023, at Memorial Presbyterian Church, 802 E College Ave, Appleton. Service will begin at 10:00am with a time of visiting beginning at 9:00am. A dessert reception will be held at the church following the service. Marty will be laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery, Appleton.
Marty's memorial service on Thursday as well as the burial-urn placement on Friday will both be livestreamed-see below for direct links.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Memorial Presbyterian Church: Hearing Loop Fund.