Martha Strayer, 88, formerly of Tucson, Ariz., Warsaw, and West Palm Beach, Fla., died Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Born in Frankfort, June 15, 1928, Martha was the oldest child of Ivan and Laura Huffer. She loved to read, play her clarinet, ride her bike, and play tennis.
As a girl, Martha and her family moved to West Palm Beach, Fla., where she continued to play her clarinet and wrote for the high school newspaper. She attended Indiana University in Bloomington so that she could marry a “Midwestern man.” She studied education, and while at IU, she was a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority where she met many lifelong friends.
She met and married Ray L. “Pete” Strayer, a “Midwestern man”, at Indiana University, and moved to Warsaw. She and her husband started their family with the birth of their first son, Jeffrey, followed by their second son, Daniel, and finally their daughter, Jennifer. While in Warsaw, Martha raised her family, supported her husband at the Strayer Insurance Agency, and was active in the Presbyterian Church. She loved playing games, especially cards, and she loved to travel with her family. Martha and Pete took their children to all 48 continental states. Additionally, they traveled to six out of seven continents together, and they loved sharing their journeys with others. Martha loved supporting the arts, especially music. One of her proudest accomplishments was co-founding Riverwood Ranch in Warsaw, which provided a home for area at-risk youth.
Martha loved living in Tucson, where she enjoyed the sunsets over the mountains, long walks with her beloved dogs, and playing tennis multiple times a week. Her favorite times in Tucson were when her family came to visit. Martha was a lifetime sports fan, especially of the University of Arizona men’s basketball team and the University of Arizona women’s softball team. She took several classes at the Pima County Community College and was a life-long student.
Martha is preceded in death by her parents: Ivan and Laura (Irick) Huffer; her brother, James Huffer; her sister, Mary Jane English; and her husband, Pete Strayer.
She is survived by her children: Jeffrey (Angela) Strayer, Fort Wayne; Dan (Anna) Strayer, Fort Wayne; and Jennifer (Tom) Heidenreich, Noblesville; and her five grandchildren: Vanessa (Ryan) Trammell, Carmel; Aubrey Strayer, Portland, Ore.; Eric (Anna) Heidenreich, Noblesville; Jessie (Eric) Sears, Indianapolis; and Katie (Jeff) Wraley, Richmond, Va. She had seven great-grandchildren and three more on the way.
A private memorial service will be held in Tucson, Arizona. Anyone wishing to honor her memory can do the following: be generous, love your family, continue your education, and travel as much as possible.
Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 50 East 91st Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46240.