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Gladys Finney Martin passed away on February 1st, 2024, at Aurora Memorial Hospital in Burlington, WI at 89 years of age.
Gladys was born on December 26th, 1934, at Abington Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. She and her twin sister Helen were born to the late Allen Cornell Finney and Edna Tomlinson Finney. Allen Cornell Finney passed away when Gladys was just 14 months old. By necessity Edna and the girls moved to the Tomlinson family farm in Northeast Philadelphia. They lived there until the farm was sold in 1942 and continued to live with her grandparents.
Growing up Gladys was raised as a Quaker where she attended Byberry Meeting along with family and relatives. She is a direct descendent of William Walton, one of the four Walton brothers who immigrated to the Philadelphia area around 1675 from Bibury, England. They were among the founders of Byberry Meeting in Northwest Philadelphia which continues to stand today.
After graduating from Frankford High School in 1952, Gladys and her sister both went to work for Bell Telephone. It was at a dance that Gladys met her husband to be Bernard Martin. They were married in 1954 and a little more than a year later Gladys gave birth to twin boys, Ronald and Wayne. The family resided in Huntington Valley, PA.
In 1965 the Martin family moved to Milwaukee, WI from Philadelphia as a result of Bernie being promoted and then transferred to Johnson Controls corporate office.
While arriving in Milwaukee, Gladys and the family joined the United Methodist church of Whitefish Bay where she would continue to be a member for the next 59 years. Attending Sunday service and actively participating in Church events was a very important part of her life. She cherished the friends she made amongst the congregation as many of those friendships have lasted for decades.
Gladys loved sports both playing and being a spectator. She and her husband, Bernie, were both passionate golfers and bowlers. Gladys’ commitment to golf extended to playing on the Ozaukee CC golf team. A special experience for her was traveling to Scotland to play golf with her female friends. As a true Wisconsinite Gladys didn’t miss an opportunity to cheer on the Brewers, Packers, and Milwaukee Bucks. So who was her favorite player? “Giannis, he is amazing!”.
Later in life Gladys worked as a bank teller for Heritage Bank retiring at the age of 65. She would often say that the worst part of the job was working the drive through window. What was the most memorable? Getting held up! Fortunately no one was hurt and the bank robber was later apprehended.
A special part of Gladys’ life was her commitment and devotion to the Milwaukee Protestant Home (Eastcastle Place) for well over 45 years. And when expansion included the development of Newcastle Place in Mequon, WI she was there as well. Her involvement included serving on the board of directors, planting of gardens, playing the piano for the MPH Chorus, membership in the MPH Auxiliary, and other volunteer activities. Gladys continued her piano artistry in Memory Support, and the Sunday church service at MPH (Eastcastle Place) until April 2023 and New Castle Place until September 2023. When Gladys had to give up driving and utilize Ozaukee Ride Share for transportation in 2023, she was always ready with her music bag in hand and the drivers quickly nicknamed her the “Music Lady”.
Gladys’ mother Edna truly gave her twin daughters a gift for a lifetime, developing their love for playing the piano and sharing it with others. Over the years Gladys played at church, numerous retirement homes, parties, and special events bringing a smile to all those that had the opportunity to hear her play. She carried that love of playing till the very end of life, playing her last set a little more than a week before being admitted to the hospital where she would pass.
Gladys was preceded in death by Allen Finney (Father), Edna Finney (Mother), Bernie Martin (Husband), Ronald Martin (Son), and Helen File (Sister). She is survived by her son Wayne Martin, Daughter in laws - Jennie Martin and Robin Martin, Grand Children – Diana Blott, Laura Hann, Nick Martin, and Robert Martin, Great Grandchildren – Aurora Martin, Nathan & Matthew Blott, Abigail & Eden Hann and many cherished friends.
Gladys final resting place will be by her husband Bernie at Forest Hills Shalom Memorial Park, in Huntington Valley, PA.
A celebration of Gladys life will be held on February 28th, 2024, at 11:00am at United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay.
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Derrick Funeral Home of Lake Geneva is more than honored to be assisting Gladys family.
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United Methodist Chruch of Whitefish Bay
819 East Silver Spring Drive, Whitefish Bay WI 53217
Alzheimer's Foundation of America
322 Eighth Ave., 7th fl., New York NY 10001