Obituary for Martha Hermes
She was born on March 2, 1947 in Lansing, Michigan to William and Rosemary Wackerly, and was the oldest of three girls. Martha (or Marty, as she became known in her adult years) attended Holy Cross Elementary School and graduated from J.W. ORafferty High School in Lansing, MI in 1965. After graduation, she got her first job as a telephone switchboard operator with Michigan Bell Telephone Co. She was introduced to Michael Hermes by his oldest brother, who happened to live next door, and they married in May of 1968. Together they raised three beautiful daughters, Gwendolyn Ericks, Amy Huth, and Krista Odette. After a 29-year marriage, Marty and Mike divorced but continued to be friends through the years.
While raising her children, Marty was still
very active in her community. She volunteered in her three daughters'
activities in school and at Holy Cross Church, where they attended
as a family for many years.
Marty had many gifts and natural talents, one of which was painting. She enjoyed creating various landscapes, and taught art classes at many assisted living facilities in Florida. If you own one of her many paintings, you are so blessed--she didnt give those away easily! After moving to Florida, Marty loved working part time for St. Lukes Eye Clinic in Tampa. She eventually became a resident at Magnolia Manor ALF, Rocky Creek ALF, and finally settled down at Brookdale Senior Living in New Port Richey, Florida. This Great Lakes girl absolutely loved the water. Many times she would just take a long drive, pull off at a beach, get her paint and canvas out of the trunk and paint for hours. The results were breathtaking. She spent her last 17 years in Florida, making many friends along the way. Due to COVID-19, it has even very difficult to have any sort of arrangements at this time. Her family is respecting her wishes for her daughters to all be together on the water in honor of her memory.
Martha was preceded in death by her parents, and her former husband, Michael Hermes, who passed away in 2018. Martha was also very recently predeceased by her brothers-in-law, Richard Ludman and Joseph Kelly, both of Michigan, as well as by Mike's three brothers and two of their wives.
She is survived by her children, Gwendolyn Ericks of Lansing, Michigan, Amy (Michael) Huth of Odessa, Florida, and Krista (Andy) Odette of Frankfort, Michigan. Marty absolutely adored her six grandchildren: Taylor and Alexa Akers, Kayla and Tyler Huth, Madison and Matthew Odette, and her one great-granddaughter, Camryn Koval. She is also survived by her two sisters, Marilyn Ludman of Brooklyn, MI and Mary Ellen Kelly of Eaton Rapids, MI, as well as many loving nieces and nephews.
Martha Wackerly Hermes Family ( Marty)
Gwen Akers - oldest and far left, me, Krista Odette - youngest,
far right Amy Huth - middle daughter
I have procrastinated, thought, remembered and recanted the tales of experiences of my life and this is my final edition. The tale of an imaginative woman. First let me begin by saying, I didn't obtain a degree from a certified college, unless a degree in social skills and knowledge is accredited from the "University of Life's Experiences", then I have obtained credentials above par for anyone ..
Upon graduation, actually a month before,
I began to work for good ol' Ma Bell as a long distance telephone
operator and graduated up the ladder to a Senior Operator and
eventually transferred to Customer Service as a billing rep.
Yup Bill Bergin, the math scholar, I was working with figures
isn't it? But the numerical field didn't stop there, in-between
and during the finest profession of my career, being a Mother
raising 3 beautiful girls, I continued on: I sold Real Estate
during the economic downturn of the 80's when adjustable rate
mortgages were born and exceeded the sales of others in the office
as top sales person, 6 months after leaving the field. Amazing.
It was during that time I taught myself bookkeeping
skills and small business management, advertising, budget control
and marketing as well as customer relations
.a 4 year degree
so to speak in less than 1 year. Whew! Am I nuts or what. We
ended up giving the restaurant back. Then came divorce after
28 years and numerous job changes and moves. I eventually lived
in Traverse City and could see a smidgeon of the bay from my
tiny studio apartment on Front Street
..A dream come true.
Finally moving to Safety Harbor a place I visited over 12 years earlier and stood on the Main St and declared, "Some day I want to live here". Well, God has always been known to work in the 11th hour with me. So this was no surprise I would live here 13 years after my divorce, and still single, but ever looking for the special guy He has in mind for me, one can never give up hope. Remind me to tell you about the jeans on the bedpost story at the reunion.
My life's accomplishments also include: Co-founding of the Knights Daughters a recognized group for teenage girls while in Lansing, coordinated 2 parades, was an editor of a monthly fraternal publication, Chair of the Knights of Columbus 75th Anniversary and co authored the Anniversary Booklet recanting the history of the organization with my sister, Mary Ellen Kelly, taught myself how to paint on canvas with acrylics and am proficient with them now and have my own website: www.brushstrokesbyhermes.com, I blog and have two sites: www.twofish13.wordpress.com and one for our area to help people find resources in a crisis, www.tampabaysolutionsandconnections.wordpress.com, which incorporate my love of writing.
There have been numerous avenues to use my creativity with things such as grant writing, organizing a fundraiser for our local elementary school in Thompsonville, MI with a turn back of time to celebrate the death of Elvis, our diner turned into a 50's replica complete with a classic car show, White Castle Blue Plate Specials, and two performances by a downstate Elvis impersonator who donated his time and the Crystal Mt resort their room and we fed his family for the weekend .It was a blast first time ever I wore a poodle skirt, talk about nostalgia.
Through all my life's experiences including trips to New England, Chicago and driving the 1400 miles here all by myself, my faith and personal relationship with the Lord has grown tremendously, I have shed my rigid Catholic rules for a non denominational church, but always give credit to who I have become to the roots of my schooling and churching in the Catholic Faith, it has been a definite anchor and foundation for my life now. In 2007 I gave my heart to the Lord and was baptized. I cannot enumerate here all the unique and miraculous ways the Lord has touched my life, I have truly become a planter of seeds and an encourager of others, my position if you will for Him. My faith is my rock and stability as it always has been.
I hope to travel more and to enjoy my grandkids in both worlds and share my life with that someone special if that's meant to be .I at the least hope I will not be fully employed at the age of 85! There's still so much of life I want to taste, touch, see and hear .people to meet and old friends to connect with, there really needs to be much more time in the day.
Let's hope Gene uses his talents and re-writes this long winded description of "my life" before his publication costs all of us an arm and a leg .Until the reunion, I will be there life is too precious not to reconnect and I thank Linda Slucter and Scott Taylor for teaching me that fact.
May God continue to shower His blessings upon all of us .the fabulous class of 1965!