Martha M. Holbrook

April 11, 1939July 27, 2018

Martha M. Holbrook 79, of Lancaster, passed away on Friday July 27, 2018 at the Pickering House. Martha was born April 11, 1939 in Lancaster, Ohio to the late, Carl and Mary C. (Bradyshok) Appel. She was a member of Calvary Orthodox Lutheran Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald G. Holbrook Sr., parents, sisters, Eleanor Morrow, Luella Kuhn, Ruth Poole and infant sisters.

She is survived by her son, Don (Jill) Holbrook Jr.; granddaughters, Hannah & Madison; brothers, George Appel and Harry (Janice) Appel, sisters, Norene Peck and Esther Boyer.

Funeral services will be held 10:00 a.m. Wednesday August 1, 2018 at Calvary Orthodox Lutheran Church with Pastor Roger Hale officiating. Friends may call from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Halteman-Fett & Dyer Funeral Home. Burial will follow the service in Knollwood Cemetery, Logan. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pickering House, 282 Sells Road, Lancaster, Ohio 43130.


  • Pickering House



  • Visitation Tuesday, July 31, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, August 1, 2018


  • Burial

Martha M. Holbrook

have a memory or condolence to add?

Grace Cave

July 31, 2018

One of my favorite memories of Aunt Martha was at Calvary, I was very small sitting in between my mom (Jeanette) and Aunt Martha. I couldn't see over the next seat and really didn't understand what was going on. (Probably to keep me from getting restless) I watched my aunt Martha grab the Hymnal at the back of the pew, the pad of paper and two pencils. She smiled down at me as she drew the tic-tac-toe grid and handed me a pencil.

Every Sunday in Church I played tic-tac-toe with her. She let me win a lot and would silently act like she was bummed she lost. It felt like it was just me and her playing the quite game at the same time as tic-tac-toe . I always looked forward sitting beside her because she would fully listen and engage with me when we it was okay to talk and knew how to keep me quite when it wasn't.

Jeanette Cave

July 30, 2018

Days spent with family were EVERYTHING to her, she lit up from inside being with her immediate family and all the others attending reunions. This reunion in Rising Park in 2005 was no exception:

Jeanette Cave

July 30, 2018

Her life was enhanced by time spent with those she loved. We miss all four of the wonderful people in this photo. She has joined them...

Jeanette Cave

July 30, 2018

Martha in the center with older sister, Luella and younger sister, Esther (and me peeking from the bottom of the shot).

Jeanette Cave

July 30, 2018

When asked why she would go to the mall so often, she would smile and respond that she loved to 'people watch'. She would sit in the food court and observe the subtle dramas in the lives of others. She had open empathy for what others were going through, particularly children, and would give of herself so easily to anyone who came to her for comfort or sympathy.

She was the best 'big sister' anyone could ever have asked for, helping to prepare me for 'adult life' with love and guidance, understanding fears and hesitations, and correcting misinformation. She often stepped in to parent when needed and was a buffer between generations.

Christmas Eve would not have been half as special without her. I helped by wrapping all the gifts she would carefully choose for each and every youngster who might attend the family celebration. It was she who made certain there was something under the tree for Santa to give each child in attendance at the Appel family gatherings. The excitement would build as we would track Santa's trip from the North Pole to the Appel house on Clayton Drive. Throughout the years, various 'Santas' would arrive with Martha at their elbow to distribute the special little gifts with promises of more to come at their own homes in the morning. She made her list and checked it many times, buying extra 'just in case' there might be a guest child she had not anticipated.

She was a 'favorite aunt' of so many people, giving testament to the love she gave being the love she cultivated and earned. Her devotion was not just for children but for anyone who sought her out, fiercely loyal, attending sporting events when able, keeping track of births as well as other family and friend developments.

What better legacy can a person leave than to be loved and missed by friends and family spread far and wide? How does one even begin to measure how many lives she touched?

Tears in California...wish I could be there.