Gardening 08

Martha B. Chatfield

March 20, 1945 ~ October 24, 2021 (age 76)

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Palmyra: Martha Ruth Balentine was born in Barre, Vermont on March 20, 1945, to Edward and Ella Balentine.  She was the fourth child in a family of nine.  She married John Luther Chatfield, also of Vermont, on July 23, 1965.  They had one child, Jae Lynne Chatfield, and lived in Vermont, Virginia, and New York.    

Martha was athletic; she bowled in a women’s league and played league softball for many years.  She was particularly well known for her creativity, which took many forms.  While in Virginia she developed a flourishing cake business.  She sang in choirs and played piano at the churches they attended, and she and John led the church youth group together.  She was accomplished in many of the traditional womanly arts, and particularly enjoyed crocheting.  She made a great many afghans for family members, friends, and strangers.  Martha especially loved flower gardening.  She transformed the yard at her most recent property into traffic-stopping gardens that are lovely in all seasons.  These gardens were once included in the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Tour.  She was always generous with plants and gardening tips.    

Martha was equally generous in other ways, not only to those close to her, but also to strangers.  She sought out needs and quietly filled them, anonymously if possible.  She served her Savior by serving others.  Martha was an excellent cook and hostess and often opened their home for dinner parties and other gatherings.  She also used her cooking skills to prepare meals for people who were undergoing difficult times.

Martha had a gift for encouragement.  She posted uplifting bits of Scripture or meaningful lyrics on Facebook daily.  Her eye for beauty and her own creativity made her appreciative of others’ creative endeavors; she was delighted by all sorts of creative pursuits, freely complimenting and inspiring others.

Martha was predeceased by her husband, John Luther Chatfield, sister Willa Anne Balentine, and brothers Michael Balentine and Karl Edward Balentine.  She leaves behind her daughter Jae Lynne Chatfield (Rob Reif, Jr.), grandsons Benjamin Alexander Chatfield and Jesse James Chatfield, all of whom live in New York, as well as one brother and four sisters.  Martha will also be missed by countless others who were blessed to know her.

At Martha's request, no public services will be held.  As an expression of sympathy instead of flowers, please consider donating to Samaritan's Purse - one of Martha's favorite charities.

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