Martha Lou Midkiff
May 21, 1939 – January 23, 2021
On January 23, 2021, the world lost Martha Lou Midkiff (née Lukenbill). She succumbed to complications from COVID just a month after losing her husband of 60 years, Larry Michael Midkiff.
Martha was a woman of tremendous energy, deep caring, and an unshakable belief that practically anything was possible, or at least worth trying. Whether as a social worker, a therapist, a business owner or a school counselor, she touched many, many lives. It was not surprising to find her rescuing children from dangerous situations, being a fierce advocate for elderly patients ensuring they got the help they needed, guiding young people to make critical decisions about their future, counseling couples and families struggling to live better lives, or even showing people with a fear of flying how to take their first flight and discover new freedoms. She even rescued wild baby birds, building a walk-in aviary in our back yard.
Martha loved people: to talk with them, laugh with them, and to find out all about them. She could make friends wherever she went because she listened, and she cared. In the short time since her passing, so many have come forward to tell stories of how she helped them, how they will never forget her, and their awe at the great love she shared with Mike, her husband.
After many years starting and growing a successful business, she sold it and went back to college to become a school counsellor so that she and Mike could travel the world, teaching in schools in Brazil, Pakistan and Senegal. Taking advantage of already being overseas, they also traveled every chance they got, seeing over 50 countries, and shopping for bargains in every one of them.
After returning to the US, she continued to provide therapy in Georgia, and in her beloved Clearwater Beach, Florida. About a decade ago she began showing signs of dementia, so she and Mike moved back to their hometown of Indianapolis. In July of 2020 she entered memory care where she never stopped caring about her friends and family who were so important to her.
Martha leaves behind her two sons, Gregory Midkiff and Andrew Midkiff, two daughters-in-law, Kelle Midkiff and Ruth Leney-Midkiff, as well as four grandchildren, Kathryn, Susan, Charles and Nate, and five great-grandchildren, Bella, Ava, Ivie, Aksel and Indy.
She also leaves behind a whole host of family, friends, as well as former students and patients who will miss her tremendously, and never forget her smile, her laugh, and her caring heart.
Because of COVID, we will have a virtual memorial service for Mom on Saturday February 6th at 1:00 pm EST. We hope to have a more fitting memorial for both Mom and Dad where all can come, once the danger from the pandemic is past. https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtceiopzksGNwtEVeXn8lTcC63r05zWSl6
To attend the memorial service, you only need to follow this link and it will ask you to enter your name and email. You will then get a direct link to the service sent to your email account for use on February 6th. In the service we will say a few words about Mom and then we will invite anyone else who wishes to speak to share their thoughts. Afterwards you’re welcome to stay in the call and chat.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Martha Lou Midkiff
February 4, 2021
I remember Marty when I was 5 years old. She was the big sister I never had. I remember her mother Clara also with great fondness. My mother, Mary Paul, was a music teacher and gave Marty harp lessons at the time. I recently came across one of mother's students recital pictures where Marty was a participant. If I can find it again I will gladly send u a copy. Annabelle Paul
January 30, 2021
Sending heartfelt condolences to the Midkiff family at not only Martha's passing, but also Mike's only a month prior. I have some fond, but many decades old memories of fun times with Greg and Andy, their parents, and my great Aunt Clara at a house on a lake - details of where are lost to the many years.
One good thing about perusing obituaries is that I glanced back at my mother's and saw a thoughtful message from Andrew. Indeed all of us Brehob "kids" can understand the heartbreak of having a parent with dementia and more recently the difficulty in visiting due to the pandemic. I found great comfort in knowing mom is now at peace with her Lord and pray for the same comfort for your family. Your parents were both amazing people who had a positive impact on so many lives!
I would love to get an update on your family if you wish to connect on Facebook or email.
Fondly, Aimee Dahl
January 28, 2021
I remember Martha from when I was about 6 years old. Our family was the youngest of the Miller family and Marty was the the only one closest to us. when we were being brought up in the Broad Ripple area. Marty came by in her Mercury convertible . She took Me and my brothers to Park on the North side.there she moved to the center seat and let them drive at a slow rate through the park. Then it got to me. I was to short to reach the pedals. She got back in the drivers seat and put me in her lap. She then let me steer while she did the gas and brake. That was my first driving lesson.
I have never forgot Marty and Mike all my life and think we will never forget them.
January 28, 2021
“Hey, this is your crazy cousin, Marty,” was always her familiar phone call greeting to me. Several years older than I, and having received all the benefits of a rather successful puberty, I idolized her. She was everything I wanted to be! I have clear memories of her tutoring me on the art of getting a boyfriend. As the years passed our lives followed some parallel paths. One was our love for the pursuit of higher education. Marty modeled how a rather non-serious youthful student could become proficient in academia if interested and properly challenged. She accomplished so many things, always lead by her zest for life and tender heart. And we laughed. How we laughed. She was the most hilarious self-deprecating person I have ever known. She called me to tell me she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Frequently. We even laughed about that. God speed, Marty you were a true treasure. Love- Cousin Karen
January 28, 2021
My precious sister, was named Martha, but for all of us who loved her dearly, she was ""Marty"". She and her beloved husband Mike took up an assignment, in Lahore American School, Pakistan.
She came in as the Guidance/Counseling Director.
In walked this beautiful,radiant well dressed ,lady where I was,already working as a deputy Counselor.
It was love at first sight. as I gave her a welcoming HUG which is my way of life.,.
A HUG says a lot. Two strangers Marty and Mahjabin became instant ,friends which led to a relationship of being two loving ""Sister,s"".
Her achievements in life are so so many--all of them made up of compassion, for the fellow human being---will have earned her a place in the most beautiful Garden of the highest of Heaven,s. AMEN.
In her leaving this world, she joins her darling husband Mike ,who was her heart throb and husband of 60 years..
Her beloved children,grand children and great grand children will miss her tremendously.My love and prayers are sent their way.
You have left me grieved darling Marty. Words cannot explain what I am feeling at this moment., Our relationship of heart and soul, is not ended , for I am sure we will meet again. LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.
Your sister, Mahjabin.
January 28, 2021
I remember that Martha was the one with the infectious laugh at holiday gatherings. When we moved to Michigan in 1963 and subsequently settled in, meaning being involved in our own church programs and such, we didn't spend as much time in Indiana during the holidays. Thus, we didn't get to be involved in these gatherings as much. These memories are from when I was pretty young, the early, maybe mid-60s. Anyway, I just remember her very pretty smile and outgoing personality.