Jean Marie Martin, 89, of Lancaster, PA, formerly of Kingston, NY, passed suddenly on Monday, November 7, 2022, at Willow Valley Communities in Lancaster, PA. She was born October 10, 1933, in Poughkeepsie, NY, daughter of the late James and Edna (Losee) Thomas.
Jean married the late Sheldon Grant Martin of Kingston, NY, in 1958. Sheldon passed two months ago. It is thought that Jean missed his companionship so intensely, that she longed to go Home. Jean and Sheldon served God by caring for their family and community in practical ways, both in the Kingston area and in their later years, in Willow Valley. As a young family they would regularly visit residents in area Nursing Homes, desiring to demonstrate dignity to the sometimes forgotten. Friends also knew their caring love. Jean would regularly visit the needy bringing groceries, clothing, and home cooked meals. She would clean the homes of the elderly who could no longer keep house. She would spend hours on the phone listening to the concerns of the home bound. Those suffering illness or loss would receive hot meals, notes, assurance of prayers, and a listening ear. In the retirement community Jean’s sacrificial and empathetic care earned her the name “Mother Theresa”. Yet her family were the recipients of her extraordinarily tireless and lavish expressions of love throughout her life. Her sister Mary said, “She was always an angel.” Her children responded to her love with great appreciation and devotion. She was always supportive and found practical ways to assist in their life’s journey. One example of a regular treasured family tradition was her lovingly prepared after Church Sunday dinners. Her grandchildren agree that they had never met such a genuine person who cared for everyone, and they never recall her losing patience with them. She made time to play games, sing, and read stories to captive audiences of grandchildren and great grandchildren. She learned from her Mama to never arrive empty handed and to lend a hand where there was a need. She embodied the wisdom of “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, for all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” Her life was motivated by a steadfast hope in God and His redeeming love through Jesus Christ, which enabled her to demonstrate unconditional love to stranger and family alike. She now rests from her labor. She now beholds the face of God in light and glory. She is Home.
Jean retired in 1991 with 21 years of service from IBM as an analyst. She was an active member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, Kingston, where she served as Chairman of the Deaconesses, Sunday School teacher, and Nursery worker. As a member of Harvest Presbyterian Church, Lancaster, she served in children’s ministries. She volunteered in various capacities at Willow Valley. She served as a Committeeman for over 30 years in the Ulster County Conservative Party, and she was Treasurer for the Town of Esopus Conservative Party. In their retirement years, Jean and Sheldon travelled together to popular destinations. They also travelled to NY several times a year for extended family visits.
Jean is survived by her children, Sheldon J. Martin of Poughkeepsie, and Deborah J. Elmendorf and her husband Dan, of West Shokan, her grandchildren, Timothy Elmendorf and his wife Abby, Stephen Elmendorf and his wife Mengli, Rachel Scott and her husband Andrew, and Nathan Elmendorf and his wife Karen, 11 great grandchildren, her brother James Thomas of Highland, NY, her sister Mary Decker of Hyde Park, NY, as well as several nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her brother William Thomas of Boynton Beach, FL, and her sister Dorothy Hill of Poughkeepsie, NY.
Arrangements entrusted to Keyser Funeral & Cremation Service, Kingston, NY. A graveside service will be held at 11 AM on Monday, November 14, at Wiltwyck Rural Cemetery, Kingston. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to Redeemer Broadcasting Inc., PO Box 1520, Olivebridge, NY 12461.
A tribute for Jean can be found at www.KeyserFuneralService.com, where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.