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Monday, April 19, 2010

Former NCTA President, Martha Jones, Dies

Martha Jones
Martha Jones (photo by JHY)

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by JHY

Word has been received of the death of Martha Jones, of Royal Oak, Michigan. Martha is well-known to those who attend the annual conferences of the North Country Trail Association.

She has supported the NCT for as long as the trail has been in existence. She served as President of the Association in 1990-91. Despite her advanced age, Martha continued to be a spark plug at any event she attended. She is pictured here with Bobby Koepplin, the current NCTA President, taken August 2009.

Mick Hawkins recalls, "Last summer in North Dakota she was with us on that hike we took to the "falls." I well remember that coming back I was hiking along at about the best clip I could muster. Martha overtook me, walked along with me for a ways and we gabbed – and then she decided she needed to move on. So help me, she took off down the trail and left me, and I never did catch up with her till we got back to the bus!"
Martha Jones
Martha Jones and Bobby Koepplin (photo by Mick Hawkins)

One story that illustrates Martha's wonderful spirit comes from the day the first picture was taken. This was at the NCTA conference held in Ohio in 1997. Martha took a nasty fall on a hike. This picture was taken as she was sitting and waiting for word that a vehicle was arriving to "rescue" her. The cut on her knee (you may be able to see the blood on the pants of the extended leg), was quite bad. She had to go to the hospital and get 15 stitches. Yet, she smiled through it all, and apologized continually for being such a bother.

Martha died suddenly of a heart attack, Thursday, while speaking on the phone to her daughter. There will be a memorial service at the Birmingham Methodist Church, Birmingham, Michigan on this Friday, April 23, at 1 PM.

The body will be cremated and the ashes spread on Whiteface Mountain, New Hampshire.

Sign the guest book at Cremation Society of Michigan
Donations may be made to the North Country Trail Association in her honor.

See more about Martha at the Chief Noonday Chapter of the NCTA


Todd Johnson said...

My Aunt Martha lived her life as no one I have ever known. Vigorous, strong, unique. She was a special friend to the wife I lost to cancer 1-1/2 years ago. They shared a bond that was unfathomable. I will miss her greatly.
Todd Johnson
Washington, DC

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Todd- Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I'm truly sorry for your loss and ours as well. Martha was my roommate at the first NCTA conference I attended in 1995, and her welcoming attitude toward me went a long way toward my decision to get involved with the organization.

Unknown said...

I knew Martha because I work with her daughter, Sandra. I thank the day I first met this vibrant, incredible woman. I will cherish my memories of her, always. Thank you for the lovely tribute to this beautiful woman.