A very special person has passed away.
Martha Margaret Engledow died Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, of natural causes at the age of 102.
Martha was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on July 4, 1918, to Marie Coster Purkey Sorenson and James Christian Sorenson, the second of three children. That summer, the Spanish flu pandemic in Pittsburgh was especially harsh on newborns. She survived, a healthy baby girl.
She grew up and moved with her parents, sister (Kay) and brother (Tom) to California during the Great Depression. Martha graduated from Alhambra High School in 1935 and began a career as a beautician. She married Clinton Wilder Engledow on Aug. 20, 1938 in Wilmar, Calif. Martha’s mother gave her the advice, “never end the day mad at each other; always talk it out.” This advice lasted her all of her married life and she passed it on to all her grandchildren. Every night when they went to bed, Clint would tell her, “You are the best thing that ever happened to me.” That went both ways.
The couple would raise three children: Clinton, Jr., Marie, and Carol. Martha’s husband served in World War II and her son served in Vietnam. After the war, Clint worked as a plumber and they maintained rental properties, living in Leucadia, Calif. They owned the famed Encinitas Boathouses, a historical landmark. She loved to spend time at the beach. Many of her grandkids grew up surfing near her home on Leora Lane.
In 1976, Martha and Clint started visiting family in Idaho in Kamiah and at Three Rivers Resort in Lowell. Martha was always a fixture at Three Rivers, with her motorhome and golf cart. She loved watching her grandsons guide river trips on the Lochsa. She enjoyed fishing, games, and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A typical day would have included folding linens with her daughter, Marie, making huckleberry jam in the restaurant kitchen, and watching her great-grandkids at the pool. Grandma made a special connection with each member of her family. Many, many people had a special bond with Martha. She impacted many lives.
Shortly after Clint passed away in 2000, Martha moved to Idaho full time. She lived on her own with no assistance until the last year of her life. In an interview with The Lewiston Tribune when she turned 100, she stated, “I am a happy person.” She looked back on her life as one filled with “… the joy found in the large and small adventures she shared with her family.”
Martha loved life and her family and friends. Throughout their life together, Martha and Clint enjoyed travelling the West in their motor home, and other trips to Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Martha loved to join her sister, Kay, in Las Vegas to play the slots. Kay passed away last year at the age of 98. Grandma enjoyed receiving visitors at her home in Lewiston, Idaho on 4th Avenue, where she moved in 2011. She was a great mentor and loving grandmother for many. She moved into Brookdale Assisted Living in Lewiston, in January of 2020.
Martha was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Clint; her daughter, Carol; her brother, Tom; and her sister, Kay. She is survived by her two children, Clinton Engledow II (Linda) of Kamiah, Idaho and Marie Smith (Mike) of Kooskia, Idaho. She is also survived by multiple nieces and nephews and their families. She adored her 14 grandchildren and their spouses: Clinton Engledow III (Anja), Jim Engledow (Shannon), Christopher Engledow(Nicole), Michael Smith (Lara), Martin Smith (Dani), David Thomas, Derek Thomas (Jen), Summer Hardison (Micha), Nicholas Nelson (Julie), Ariel Raftery (Dan), Jeff Nelson, Jamie Nelson, Joshua Nelson, Jordan Nelson (Pita), and her 27 great-grandchildren.
Martha wrote a book about her life, The Way It Was, The Way We Were. This family history is available to read at www.marthaengledow.com. She enjoyed the company and hard work of the staff at Brookdale this past year.
At Martha’s request, there will be no services.
Remember her on her birthday, the Fourth of July, watching the fireworks at Three Rivers in Lowell from her golf cart.