Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Martha Upshaw

Martha Upshaw

Martha Upshaw

Martha Ann Upshaw, known to her friends and family as "Fritzie", passed away Sunday May 3, 2020, at Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax, Wash. She was 85.

Fritzie was born in December of 1934 to Samuel and Mae Findler, in the township of Neptune, N.J. She loved to share with family and friends the many fond and interesting memories of her childhood and teen years along the Atlantic coast. As a young woman, Fritzie bravely ventured west across the country in order to be near her mother, who was living in Colfax. It was here that she decided to build a life.

Fritzie married the love of her life, Ken Upshaw, in a June ceremony at her mother's home in Colfax. The young couple soon moved to a farm in the Onecho area. It was there that the city girl from the east coast learned how to become a farmer's wife. Together they raised dry land crops, cattle and most importantly their two children Shelly and Jim. In the late 60's the family moved into the town of Colfax and made their home there while continuing to farm in the Onecho area.

Fritzie had always felt a passion for the human elements of history and as a result became interested in genealogy. For years she tirelessly researched both sides of her and Ken's families, making certain to bring life and personality to each of the individuals she discovered along the way. She took joy in being able to share her research with others. She and Ken also enjoyed traveling the West and Canada together in their motorhome.

Fritzie loved and cared for many animals throughout her life. The lamb she raised at her home earned her the nickname of "the lamb lady" around town, but her most precious companion was her beloved cat Jade. Certainly, one of Fritzie's greatest joys in life was being a grandmother to her grandson Dustin. She would later delight even more in her title of great-mother to Dustin and his wife Melissa's two children.

Fritzie was preceded in death by her husband, Ken; her parents, Mae and Samuel; and her brother. Sam.

She is survived by her son. Jim Upshaw of Colfax; her daughter and son-in-law, Shelly and Jim Stewart of Albion; her grandson, Dustin (Melissa) Stewart; and great-grandchildren, Lucinda and Connor of Woodinville.

Fritzie will be laid to rest during a private family burial next to her husband Ken at the Onecho Cemetery. Services will not be held. The family suggests memorials be gifts to the Whitman Hospital Foundation, or the Whitman County Humane Society.

Bruning Funeral Home in Colfax, Wash., is caring for the family.


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