We lost Martha Anne Thornburg, 52, recently. I was always inspired by her smile and gratitude even during those difficult days of fighting cancer. Her loving husband of 27 years, Jon E. Thornburg wrote a touching and beautiful letter to Martha at her funeral service. I sincerely appreciate his sharing this special memory here.
“For my dear Martha,
On our first date, we came across a dog hit by a car, lying on the side of the road. We decided to pick it up and take it to the vet clinic at Purdue. That was one of the first clues of Martha’s love for strays; dogs, cats, and later on she even agreed to take me in and give my life purpose. She had a boundless love for family and friends and heaven help those that ever tried to hurt someone she loved.
Martha had a personality and a smile that was contagious. That smile, given often, given freely, and given genuinely; you just had to love her. She was diligent and loved puzzles and to solve problems. When presented a problem she would jump into it and find a dozen ways to solve it while making it seem so simple. As many know, anyone who received teasing by Martha knew another side of her personality. She loved to laugh, joke and tease; and she could keep a straight face through the punch line of a prank or joke.
Martha loved to give and to share. She gave of herself; and what she had without limits, usually as long as nobody knew she was the one giving. I do not believe she ever took a bow or showed off anything, even though she had volumes of accomplishments to show and brag on, but that wasn’t her way, except for her kids. She was forever proud of Jessica, Andrea, and Jimmy. She raised three children who have kind and tender hearts, giving and forgiving, polite and a strong sense of family and friendship. She loved and was proud of her babies.
Martha loved to sing, she could be walking along, sitting, and reading or watching a show; or doing almost anything, and a song would come to her and she would start singing. Sometimes when driving she would have to stay in the car a little longer when stopped so the song on the radio could finish, and she was usually singing along with it.
Martha grew daily in her spirituality in her love of Christ and her awe and fear of GOD. She studied the word, questioned and sought answers, and had the faith of no one else I know. When the Holy Spirit came to her, she accepted and was whole-heartedly grateful, and she knew her life had really begun. She truly put her love, trust and soul in God’s hands.
I am going to miss her. I don’t know why Martha loved me, or ever agreed to be my bride, but I’m eternally grateful and proud she did. I loved her and always will.”
Our deepest condolences to Martha’s family.