Martha Manker Smith. of Ocala, FL died May 8, 2021 at the age of 91. She was born on February 9, 1930 to parents Elmer and Ruth Manker in Columbus, OH. Growing up in Ohio she enjoyed attending countless Ohio State Football games with family and friends. Martha graduated from North High School in 1947 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Ohio State University in 1952. She also interned at New York Hospital as a dietician during her senior year. Martha met and fell in love with PFC George Smith who was stationed in Columbus, OH during the Korean War while both were singing in the Broad Street Presbyterian Church choir. George had planned to attend Cornell University for a postgraduate doctoral program in psychology when he felt called to the ministry, graduating instead from Westminster Seminary in 1959 with a Masters of Divinity. Martha joyously accepted this change in direction exclaiming that she always dreamt of being a pastor’s wife. Martha worked at Einstein Medical Center as the head dietician for several years and put George through Seminary. Soon after graduation, George and Martha started their lifelong ministry service; first at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Willow Grove, PA then Manchester Presbyterian Church in Manchester, CT before returning to Willow Grove, PA for George to become the Senior Pastor at Calvary Church. Martha worked as the head dietician at Gwynedd Estates in Ambler PA from 1980-1986.
In 1996 Martha and George moved to their beloved Strathmere, NJ and the Jersey Shore. In “retirement” the two continued to serve two churches in New Jersey including Covenant Presbyterian Church near Cape May. Finally the two moved to Ocala, FL in 2003 for an actual retirement.
Martha will be greatly missed by her family and friends, and the thousands of people in the congregations where she served alongside her husband. Her children remember her as a “hostess with the mostest” with her near constant hospitality for large and small gatherings season after season. Always available for guidance and a thoughtful ear Martha was a phenomenal role model displaying qualities of genuine lifelong friendships and faith. Martha enjoyed singing in the church choir her whole life, playing bridge and serving as Deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Ocala FL.
Martha Manker Smith is survived by sons Glenn Smith of Horsham, PA and Jeffrey Smith of Santa Barbara, CA, daughter Jacquelyn Smith of Portland, OR, daughters-in-law Marsha Taylor, wife to Jacque, and Errin Cecil-Smith, wife to Jeffrey, grandchildren Samantha, Alexander and Lily Smith and Megan Ashley and Ryan Taylor, and great-grandsons Lennox and Leo.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents; brother, Glenn Manker (wife, Eleanor Frost).
A burial service will be held at Bushnell National Cemetery on May 24 with the family in attendance, and the family hopes to host a larger memorial service when Covid restrictions and common-sense permit.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to:
First Presbyterian Church Ocala
511 SE Third St.
Ocala, FL 34471