Martha Wheat Essex
The passing of Martha Eloise Wheat Essex on June 23, 2019 was acknowledged by a small private gathering, sharing special memories, on October 27, 2019 which would have been Martha's 94th birthday.

Born on October 27, 1925 to Ortha M. (Dinsmore) and Horace D. Wheat in Boone County, Martha married Eugene Wood Essex on October 18, 1946. Martha's older brother (James) Donald Wheat, and niece, Margaret, preceded here in death. Her nephew, Tom Wheat, survives, residing near Boston, MA.

Martha graduated from Whitestown High School in 1943 and began a career at Eli Lilly. After Martha and Eugene built their family home in Zionsville their first child, Sandra Lynn, was born in 1953. Her second child, Kent Eugene, was born in 1958. Sadly, Kent preceded her in death in 1980 at age 22 after seven months of marriage to Janay Jones.

Martha supported her husband Eugene in the running of the farm by being an active mother and bookkeeper for the business. In 1976 Martha and Eugene retired to live full time in Port Charlotte, Florida. In 1994 Eugene passed away at age 69. They were married 48 years.

Martha was very active in the First Baptist Church in Punta Gorda, Fl, where she was a greeter, a member of an active Sunday School Class, and a weekly volunteer at the Horn of Plenty Clothing and Food Pantry, a ministry which began after Hurricane Charley in 1986 and continues to serve over 100 families every week.

A highlight of Martha's life was the marriage of Sandra to Jim Sullivan in 1982 and the birth of her twin grandchildren, Elizabeth Essex and Lillian Essex Sullivan born in 1998. She spent four months with Sandra and Jim after the birth of the girls who were born prematurely. Martha's last big family outing was to attend the girls' high school graduation in May 2016.

Sandra moved Martha to an assisted living facility near her home in California in early 2016 shortly after her 90th birthday. Martha and Sandra participated extensively before and after Martha's passing in a Brain Research Study at the USC Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC).

Martha's cremains were buried in a private inurnment at the Mounts Runn Cemetery next to Eugene and Kent. As a remembrance please donate to the charity of your choice with Martha in mind.
Published on October 31, 2019


Plant a tree in memory
of Martha
Plant a tree

Obituary published in

Arrangements by

Huntington Retirement

Get directions


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.
The guestbook expires on January 29, 2020.

Showing 10 of 1 posts

Alecia Sparks
Nov 01, 2019
Sandra, this summer my husband (Phil) and I were at Mts. Runn Cemetery trimming around my parents' and grandparents' and brother's tombstones. I walked further down the lane and stood at your parents' and brother's sites, brushed the grass away and straightened the flowers there. I had not known of your mother's passing. Our belated sympathy. My mother was an Essex. I believe she and your dad were first cousins. With the passing of the older ones, we lose our connections. My grandfather was George Allen Essex (wife, Neva); my mother, Mildred June (Essex) Shepherd (husband, John W. Shepherd); and I am Alecia (Shepherd) Sparks of Brownsburg, IN. To our knowledge, there are six generations... of the Essex family buried at Mts. Runn. I remember your mother's beautiful smile. Again, our sympathy to you, "cousin."Read more