Betty Martin Establishes an Elementary Education Fund

By Maura Teynor

January 19, 2017

“I have had an extraordinary life!”

This is what Betty Martin said when asked about being alive for more than a century. She will turn 101 on March 28.

Betty recently established a field-of-interest fund to support elementary education in the Mansfield City School District. She taught at Carpenter Elementary School for 28 years and is passionate about educating children.

Her daughter Cheryl Cummins suggested setting up the fund as a way to contribute to the community while creating a permanent reminder of the good work Betty has done as a teacher.

Betty’s former students stay in touch with her and many even tell her she was the best teacher they ever had.  A few years ago, her many students organized a reunion in her old classroom at Carpenter Elementary School.

In addition, throughout her decades-long career, Betty served as a mentor to many new teachers. She is still friends with some of them today.

Born in Youngstown, Betty graduated from South High School and attended college at Wittenberg University in Springfield.

During a school-sponsored choir trip to Mansfield she met her future husband, James Richard Martin.

“We first met outside the First English Lutheran Church and it was love at first sight,” she said. “We loved one another like that for our entire marriage.”

Because they couldn’t bear being apart from one another, they secretly married in West Virginia. They settled in Mansfield and had two children, Cheryl and Rick. Her husband worked for decades for the U.S. Postal Service while Betty devoted herself to her children and to her many students.

 “My husband supported me in whatever I did,” she said. “He was a gentleman’s gentleman.”

Betty’s husband died in 1981. Her son passed away in 2010.

Today Betty still enjoys the company and activities of her well-accomplished and educated family members, including five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Her constant companion is her 16-year-old cat Princess.

“I still enjoy life and I have a family that matters,” she said. “I love people, they love me and I am a big proponent of hugs.”

 To support the Betty Martin Elementary Education fund click here . 

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