Surrounded by loving family, Martha Lee Whitworth passed peacefully from this life onto her next journey, leaving James, her husband of 72 years, heartbroken.
Services were held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 1, at the Corcoran Community Church of the Nazarene (at Letts and Jepson avenues) with burial services immediately following at Corcoran District Cemetery. Visitation was held Tuesday, April 30.
Martha passed away April 28 in Hanford, Ca., after a brief illness. She was 90 years old.
Martha was born Dec. 2, 1928, in Decherd, Tenn. The only child of Alton and Alice Sells, she grew up in the countryside around Decherd with her mom, dad and 25 cats, who followed her around the farm and only left her side when she went to her one-room schoolhouse on Penile Hill.
Martha and her parents would travel from Tennessee to Chicago to work various factory jobs then back to Tennessee, with Martha working once in a steel mill when she was only 16.
She met Jim, her one true and lifelong love, when she was 17. They married in 1947 after Martha turned 18, travelling to Rossville, Georgia, on $20 Jim borrowed from his future father-in-law. Jim calls it the best $20 he’s ever spent.
After the birth of their first child, Brenda, the couple moved to California in 1952, settling in Corcoran. Martha first worked in California in childcare, then as a cook at the old Vella’s Bee Hive before accepting her career-long position as Food Services Manager with the Waukena Unified School District. She retired in 1991 to spend the rest of her life with Jim.
In their retirement years, they loved to travel together in their camper van, logging thousands of miles coast to coast and enjoying every minute together. They loved nothing more than spending time together and with family and friends, seeing new sights and revisiting old ones.
Martha was preceded in death by her mother, Alice (Owens) Sells and father, Alton Sells.
Martha (Nana to all who knew and loved her) is survived by her husband James, of Corcoran; her children, Brenda Moore and husband Ron of Visalia, Randy Whitworth of Visalia, and Ken Whitworth and wife Leah of Hanford; grandchildren Heather Chrisman and fiancé Mark Lucio of Visalia, Jeremy Chrisman of Visalia,
Joshua Moore and fiancée Melissa Wright of Visalia, Samantha Whitworth and Cameron Whitworth of Hanford, Kelsi Whitworth and partner Andrew Pruitt of Visalia, Amanda Whitworth of Tullahoma, Tenn., Eric Whitworth and wife Kaylene of Medford Oregon and Rochelle Dowling of Visalia; great-grandchildren Brandan Loyd and wife Jennifer of Visalia, Karsten Moore of Visalia, River Whitworth and Rose Whitworth of Tullahoma, Tenn., Hayden Whitworth and Haley Whitworth of Modesto, Zane Whitworth of Medford, Oregon, Emili Dowling and Darbi Dowling of Visalia, Cody Chrisman and partner Caitlyn Belair of Fresno; and great-great-grandson Draven Loyd of Visalia.
She also leaves behind Millie, her faithful and ever-present canine companion.