Martha J. Hager, 91, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away Thursday, September 17, 2020 at home surrounded by her loved ones. Martha was born on March 25, 1929 to Florence and Harlan Wyckoff of Farmer City, Illinois where she grew up. Martha attended Illinois Wesleyan University where she majored in English and was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority, Varsity Cheer Team, Spanish Club, and was elected Homecoming Queen.
During college, she met her future husband, James Hager, whom she married on February 17, 1952. Their marriage of 62 years is a great testimony to the love they shared. Martha worked as a paralegal before moving with her husband, Jim, to Ohio where he was stationed in the Air Force. While on base, Martha put her organizational skills to work as an office manager. Martha and Jim then moved back to Jim’s home community of Gibson City, Illinois where they settled into their new life of 50 years. In Gibson City, Martha delighted in raising her family, singing in the United Methodist Church choir, participating in the Gibson Area Hospital Auxiliary, playing in two bridge clubs, and cheering on the Fighting Illini and Wesleyan Titans as an avid sports fan.
In retirement, Martha and Jim moved to Phoenix, Arizona to be with their two daughters and triplet grandchildren. Martha always put family first above all else. The Terraces community became their new home from October 2008-2020 and Martha’s indomitable spirit of positivity, sparkle in her eyes, and witty sense of humor drew countless people into her life. Her beautiful soul brought an incredible amount of light to the world, even when she faced many physical obstacles. Her noble character, love of life and amazing mind serve as a wonderful legacy to cherished family and friends.
Martha was truly loved and will be deeply missed. She is survived by her daughters Jane Hager and Julie Clelland (Wes). Martha was a devoted and loving grandmother to James, Carter, Katie Clelland, Becky Petry (Mark) and great-grandmother to Kayla Petry.
The family will celebrate Martha’s life in a private ceremony. Donations can be made to the Gibson Area Hospital, Administration Department, 1120 N. Melvin Street, Gibson City, Illinois, 60936 or The Arizona Humane Society, 1521 W. Dobbins Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85041 or online at www.azhumane.org. Condolences and Hugs from Home may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com