Martha Elizabeth Ruebush Lanham, the daughter of George Yates Ruebush and Halley Whaley Ruebush, was born October 8, 1920, in Macomb, Illinois. She was raised on a farm north of Good Hope, Illinois, and graduated from Good Hope High School in 1938. In 1942, she graduated from what is now Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, with a BS in business education. She taught in high schools in Augusta, Illinois; Walsenburg, Colorado; Hermiston, Oregon; and Barre, Vermont.
When teaching in Hermiston, she met her future husband, William “Bill” Lanham, who owned the local Western Auto store. They were married on September 4, 1948, in Macomb, Illinois. She did bookkeeping for their business while raising a family and later owned a gift shop, “Martha’s Door.”
Martha was an active community member and volunteered for numerous organizations over the years. She was a member of PEO for over 50 years. She was a founding and active member of Faith Presbyterian Church. She expressed her artistic nature in numerous ways, including painting, spinning and dyeing, felt making, quilting, and interior decorating. She faithfully arranged the church flowers. She was an active person over the years and appreciated nature, whether hiking, rafting, or sitting in her garden watching the birds. She looked forward to yoga classes through Blue Mountain Community College. Always curious and independent, she enjoyed traveling both nationally and internationally.
After Bill died in 1993, Martha lived alone and proudly maintained her home and yard until moving to Wheatland Village in Walla Walla, Wash., in April 2015. She lived in her own apartment until her death on October 30, 2017, following a massive stroke.
She is survived by daughter, Rebecca Hendricks (Scott) of Milton-Freewater, Ore.; son Ray Lanham (Lynn) of Salem, Ore., and daughter Sara Lanham of Piedmont, Calif. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, brother Kenneth Ruebush (Martha) of Hendersonville, N.C., and nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, and her brothers Max and Mervin Ruebush.
Memorials may be made to CV Chapter PEO Scholarship Fund, Faith Presbyterian Church, Walla Walla Community Hospice, or a charity of choice c/o Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, P.O. Box 289, Hermiston, OR 97838.
A funeral service was held on Friday, November 3, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at the Faith Presbyterian Church, 1005 S.E. Ninth St., Hermiston, OR 97838. Burial followed at the Hermiston Cemetery, Hermiston, Oregon.
Please sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.