Martha L. Deck, age 94, of Wellston, passed away Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, SC. She was born Nov. 10, 1925 in Wellston, Ohio, the daughter of the late Eugene McGarvey and Esther Wood McGarvey. Martha was a 1943 graduate of Wellston High School.
On April 26, 1943, Martha married Harold F. Deck. In the mid-1950s she was employed at Kroger in Wellston for several years. Martha became a widow at the early age of 42 and worked at several jobs to support herself and her younger child. She began working for the Wellston City School System in 1968 and retired as a teacher’s aide in 1989, having worked for the school system for 21-1/2 years. In years prior to that, Martha was also employed at Merry’s 10 Cent Store in Wellston.
Martha worked with the first EMT class in Wellston as a certified Emergency Medical Technician with Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services, where she served as an EMT from 1973 to 1982. She also served on the Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services Board of Trustees. Martha was the first woman elected as President of Wellston City Council where she served six terms from 1983 to 1994, and then went on to serve as the first woman Mayor of the City of Wellston in 1995.
Martha was actively involved in several aspects of her community, including being a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church in Wellston, where she served in the past as a deaconess and trustee. Other organizations and memberships included: Volunteer for the Wellston Ministerial Clothing Bank “My Brother’s Place” for 32 years; Red Cross Blood Mobile for several years; secretary/treasurer of the Wellston Neighbor Crime Watch; President of the Jackson County Board on Aging from 2000 to 2008; Advisory Board member of JCBA; lifetime award recipient of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP); Jackson County Planning Commission; past chairperson of the Northern Caucus of the Jackson County Republican Central Committee for approximately 50 years; served as a precinct election official in Wellston for many years; president and treasurer of the Wellston Senior Citizens; Advisory Council of Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc.; Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board of Gallia, Jackson and Meigs Counties; Wellston Water and Sewer Review Board; Secretary/Treasurer of the Wellston Neighborhood Crime Watch and the Housing Advisory Committee for the City of Wellston. Martha was honored in the past as the Wellston Senior Citizen Queen in 1993, Grand Marshall of the Wellston Ohillco parade in 1995, Republican Woman of the Year in 1998; Outstanding Jackson County Senior Citizen in 2000; and honored by the Wellston Chamber of Commerce as Person of the Year in 2016.
Martha lived a full life. She had a talent for writing poetry and essays and she enjoyed walking around the streets of Wellston and talking to her many friends and acquaintances. Martha Deck was dedicated to her beloved City of Wellston.
She is survived by two children, Brenda Deck Moore and her husband, Bob, of Bluffton, SC and Harold “Frankie” Deck of Delaware, OH; three grandchildren, Barry “B. J.” Shaffer, Jr. (Sherilyn) of Phoenix, AZ, Jeffrey Shaffer of Pataskala, and Christopher Deck (Kristy) of Hamden; step-grandson, Jonathan Moore (Frankie) of Columbus, as well as six great-grandchildren, two step-great-grandchildren; niece and nephew, Linda and Chuck Johnston of Orlando, FL, and dear friends, Mike and Connie Holtz of Wellston.
Besides her parents, Martha was preceded in death by her grandmother, by whom she was raised, Candace Wood; her husband, Harold F. Deck, Sr. in 1968; her daughter, Judy Deck in 1991; grandson, Michael Deck; and two sisters, Marianna Steckman and Dorothy Steckman.
Calling hours will be Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home in Wellston. Funeral services will be Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home with Pastor Dave Kelly and Pastor Tim Jones officiating. Burial will follow in the Ridgewood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Martha’s memory can be given to the First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 641, Wellston, Ohio 45692. Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.mcwilliams-funeralhome.com