Martel, Elizabeth

Martel (Bryson), Elizabeth "Betty"

A month after the 1929 Wall Street Crash, Elizabeth (Betty) Carolyn Bryson Martel was born November 17 in Xenia, Ohio. Despite early hearing problems, she graduated with high marks from Xenia Central High School and went on to attend Muskingum College, New Concord OH.

Her family moved to Dayton, and began attending Grace United Methodist because her mother "liked how they sounded on the radio." At Grace, Betty met a young Air Force engineer from Arkansas and soon married Charles "Chuck" Martel. She worked at Wright-Patterson AFB, even witnessing an atomic bomb test in Nevada. After raising three children she returned to Wright-Patterson to earn a 20-year retirement and the Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award.

Betty served her community and touched many lives. She was a "professional volunteer"-serving as a reading tutor in the Beavercreek and Dayton Public Schools, a leader and neighborhood chair of the Girl Scouts, President of United Methodist Women at Grace United Methodist, and a member of the Cox Arboretum Wildflower Group. As an alumnus of the one-room Collins School north of Xenia, she shared its history with visiting students. In 1976, she and Charles led their church's efforts to adopt the Vietnamese refugee family of Long & Hoa Pham, so much so that they became "grandma" and "grandpa." Mutual love and respect for each other has continued throughout the years.

In addition to her volunteer work, Betty was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling, gardening, family genealogy, cooking, and playing the piano, often accompanied by Charles singing or on the tuba. A lifelong learner, she took additional college courses at Wright State University, and despite growing arthritis she continued piano lessons at Sinclair Community College into her 80s.

At the age of 94, Betty Martel died in the Memory Unit of Bethany Village, Centerville, Ohio, on April 10, 2024. She was predeceased by her parents, Harold W. Bryson and Florence Collins Bryson, brother Robert M. Bryson (Ruth), brother H. Edwin Bryson (Janet), sister Helen Brantley (Virgil) and sister Mary Anne Neff (Leo). Betty was very close to sisters Helen and Mary Anne, and was fortunate to have loving and attentive nieces living nearby, Mrs. Janine (Brian) Montgomery and Mrs. Betsy Crandall.

Betty is survived by her loving husband of 68 years, Charles R Martel, son C. Mark Martel (Kate), Capt. Cook, Hawaii; daughter Laura Carlson (John), Oakland CA; Celia K. Martel, San Antonio TX; grandchildren Andrew Carlson (Noelle), Encinitas, CA and Kylie Carlson, San Francisco CA; sister-in-law Louise Huddleston, Mitchellville, MD and brother-in-law Leo Neff, Dayton.

Betty donated her body to the Wright State School of Medicine. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers please donate to your charity of choice.

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