April 15, 1916-Sept. 28, 2007
Martha Walz Zimbelman Gilbraith was born April 15, 1916, to Fred Walz and Eva Schmierer/Knorr and went to her heavenly home on Sept. 28, 2007, at the age of 91.
She was baptized in May 1916, and confirmed on June 21, 1931, at Salem Lutheran Church northwest of St. Francis. Martha attended Cox School and rode in the buggy pulled by horses. Her sister, Alice and some of the neighbor's children rode with her. After graduating from grade school, Martha spent a lot of time working in the homes of other people, doing housework, making noodles, baking pies and cakes, and making cookies for Schlittenhardt Motor Company. She also painted the interior of houses with Viola Schauer.
On April 16, 1939, she married Ernst Zimbelman. To this union a son, Marlin was born on Oct. 22, 1942. Ernst and Martha moved a house and garage from the farm seven miles north of St. Francis into town, when it was time for Marlin to start to school. They were farmers and worked for other people, also. Martha and Ernst took in boarders, usually a married couple, sometimes with children, in the basement and high school kids upstairs. Several of Martha's nieces and nephews stayed while they went to high school.
Ernst died as the result of an auto accident on July 12, 1959. Later on in her life, Martha met Frank Gilbraith of Bird City. They were married on May 26, 1967, and lived on a farm northwest of Bird City. Martha and Frank took their pick up and camper south in the wintertime a few years until Frank had a stroke in 1974. After this they moved to Goodland to be closer to the hospital and doctors. Frank had six more strokes and passed away on Oct. 9, 1982. Martha took care of him.
Martha kept herself busy with stencil painting, embroidery, playing the piano at church and home, and enjoyed visiting her neighbors and friends. She fell and broke her hip in October 1999. Martha took her first plane ride to Denver to have it set (and swore she had never been in an airplane). She became a resident of Good Samaritan Village in St. Francis. Martha's son Marlin passed away on Nov. 30, 2003, from gas fumes in his trailer house at Trenton Lake.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, Ernst and Frank, her parents, her son Marlin, brother Albert and a baby brother who was 3-days-old.
Survivors include her daughter-in-law, Mary Zimbelman; step-grandchildren, Greg, Benny (MaryAnn), and Sharla Trosper; step-great-grandchildren, Kaden and Britta Trosper, Shelby and Haley Hudson, Zach, Amber, and Hunter Trosper; and step-great-great-grandson, Chase, all of McCook; sisters, Alice Schauer and Gertrude (Robert) Zweygardt of St. Francis; and a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws, relatives, and friends.
Services were Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007, at Knodel Funeral Home with burial in St. Francis Cemetery. Officiants were Pastor Marvin Zimbelman and Pastor Glenn Isemhagen. Pallbearers were Eldon Zimbelman, Gale Walz, Mark Zimbelman, Darrel Zweygardt, Keith Zweygardt, Ed Schauer and Jim Dunn. Singers were Darrel and Jacque Zweygardt and pianist was Gertrude Zweygardt. Graveside services were conducted by the American Legion Auxiliary of Bird City, of which Martha was a lifetime member.