BENKELMAN -- Martha Elizabeth (Darby) Walter, 89, died Saturday (April 6, 2002) at Sarah Ann Hester Memorial Home in Benkelman. She was born June 20, 1912, to Theodore and Christina Elizabeth (Wall) Darby on their farm south of Haigler in Cheyenne County, Kan. She attended first through eighth grades at Pleasant Hill country school and helped her parents on the farm. On weekends, she was a housekeeper. In 1929, she went to LeSalle, Colo., to live with her Uncle Charles Darbin and his family. After living with them for two years, she moved to Fort Collins, Colo. She spent a short time with a young family, caring for their son when they moved from Colorado to Glendale, Calif. She later returned to Denver. On June 20, 1943, she married Jacob Walter, Jr. and they made their home on a farm nine miles east and north of Haigler. In the early 1980's, Martha moved to the Rainbow Fountain Park in Benkelman to be near her husband who was a resident at Hester Memorial Home. In August of 1995, Martha was unable to care for herself due to complications of diabetes and became a resident of Hester Memorial Home.
She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Haigler. She was also a member of the LCW and Clover Leaf Extension Club. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jacob; daughter, Donna Pursley and husband, Neal; and her brother, Raymond Darby.
Survivors include her daughter, Shirley and husband, Dobert Gooder of Alda; sisters, Mary Stute of Holdrege, Tressa Downs of Newport, Ky., and Ester Cline of Arkansas City, Kan.; six grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Tuesday, 11 a.m., at Zion Lutheran Church in Haigler with the Rev. David C. Rossbach officiating. Interment will follow at the Haigler Cemetery. Visitation is today until 6 p.m. at Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.
Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.