Martha Galina Sowers Boyer, age 94, of West Grove, PA, formerly of Lebanon County, PA, passed away peacefully on September 19, 2021.
Martha was the daughter of the late Geter Amidorse Sowers and Addie Bell Wirt Sowers of Princeton, WV. She was a member of the Kee Street United Methodist Church since 1934.
In 1940, thirteen-year-old Martha met Edwin L. Boyer of Wilmington, DE. Ed had traveled to Princeton with a friend, Harvey Sentman, who was visiting Ruby Kessinger, a “West Virginia girl” he met in Wilmington. The group kept in touch after their visit and by August 1942, Martha had graduated from Thorn School, Harvey and Ruby were engaged, and Ed had convinced Martha to marry him in a double ceremony in Wilmington. Ruby and Martha remained dear friends from their wedding day until Ruby’s death in 2010.
Martha and Ed built a modest life together despite many wartime struggles in their newlywed years. Martha worked as a waitress and a department store clerk, followed Ed as he was drafted into the Air Force and relocated for service to Denver, CO and Ripley, TN, and eventually set up a home for them in Wilmington while Ed was stationed in the Philippines. In 1946, Martha and Ed finally settled into the married life they had envisioned in 1942.
Martha’s determination, devotion and resilience were paramount during her early marriage; through years of raising three children, moving throughout DE and PA, caring for aging loved ones and supporting a family business; through decades of guiding her children and their children as they had their own families; and through her golden years, rich with lasting friendships from her youth. These admirable traits she has proudly and lovingly passed on to the generations after her.
In addition to her parents, Martha was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Edwin L. Boyer in 1999; daughter Diana Boyer Reece in 1987; brothers Frank, Willie and Geter Sowers; sisters Madeline Sowers, Mildred Sowers Flanigan, Margaret Sowers Walters, Bessie Sowers DeMartino and Dortha Sowers Rambo.
Martha is survived by her sons, Larry A. Boyer of Queenstown, MD and Robert S. Boyer of Bethany Beach, DE; sister, Betty Sowers Bailey of Georgetown, KY; and the many nieces, nephews of the Sowers, Flanigan, Walters, DeMartino, Rambo and Bailey families.
Martha, affectionately known as Gran, is also survived by her greatest love, her grandchildren and their families: Laura A. Boyer (Miguel), Christopher A. Boyer (Angela) and their mother Thelma Boyer Thorne; Johanna Reece Birch (Daniel), Rebecca Reece Gilley, Megan E. Reece (Joe) and their father Joseph R. Reece; Aimee Boyer Sauer, Brandon K. Boyer and their mother Cynthia Gallante Boyer.
Martha was blessed to love eleven great grandchildren, Miranda, Derrick, Jacob, Angelina, Alyssa, Luke, Kane, Max, Jake, Ryan and Henry, and one great-great grandchild, Josiah.
During her seven years at Luther House in West Grove, PA, Martha made many friends who will miss hearing her stories and seeing her kind smile. In her last few months at Jenner’s Pond and Pocopson Home, Martha was instantly loved by some very special nurses, who her family thanks immensely.
Services will be private with internment at Hershey Cemetery in Hershey, PA.
Memorial donations may be made to Kee Street United Methodist Church, 311 Kee Street, Princeton, WV 24740.
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