Martha “Marty” Jane Nicholson (née Schmidt) long of Park Forest, b. August 1, 1923, to Ida Marie (née Gerhke) and John William Schmidt, in Chicago. Called home March 30, 2019, at age 95, in Bloomington, Indiana. Mother of Janet (Frank Markus, deceased) Whitson Markus, Kimberly (Stephen, deceased) Scalzo, Valerie (Steve Jacobson) Nicholson, Randall (Karen) Nicholson, and Gail (Thomas) Nicholson. Loving “Grammie” to 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; Aunt to numerous nieces and nephews; and Friend to many. Preceded in death by the Love-of-Her-Life, Harry F. Nicholson (d. 1982); her parents, siblings William (Jean) Schmidt, Gladys (Otto) Bersch, John Schmidt, Dorothy (Frank) DeLuca; and grandchildren Bess Ann and Adam Whitson.
Martha and Harry married December 20, 1941; homesteaded in Park Forest, Illinois (1952); and helped charter Grace United Protestant Church (1954). She graduated from Grant Elementary and McKinley High School (Chicago, 1941). During the war she volunteered as nurses’ aide at Cook County Hospital, and was employed as bookkeeper at Marwyn and Bowman dairies. She continued her education earning degrees in art from Prairie State College (A.A. 1968), Univ. of Illinois Chicago (B.A. 1972), and Governors State Univ. (M.F.A. 1980). Martha taught at Thornton High School (Harvey) until 1982. Upon retirement she traveled extensively.
Martha was kind, generous, and deeply spiritual. Her life was one of service to others through teaching Sunday School, Women’s Christian Association projects in the church, volunteer work in the community, and leading a Camp Fire Girls group. Respected in art circles, her work was awarded a purchase prize by the juried Park Forest Art Fair. Martha loved her students and all whom she encountered, and strove to do right in this world. Visitation Friday, April 5, 3-9:00 at Lain-Sullivan, 50 Westwood Dr., Park Forest, IL 60466. Celebration of Life Saturday, April 6, 10:00 gathering, 11:00 service, at Grace United Protestant Church, 266 Somonauk, Park Forest. Interment Skyline Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please offer prayers and gifts to Grace U.P. Church.