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Martha Jean (Freshour) Gearhart

December 13, 1926 ~ November 22, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Martha Gearhart Obituary

Martha Jean (Freshour) Gearhart

    Martha Jean (Freshour) Gearhart, age 96, passed on November 22, 2023 surrounded by family and caregivers in her home.  Martha was born at Chillicothe Hospital on December 13, 1926.  She attended school in Kingston where she met her future husband, Paul Wendell Gearhart, who preceded her in death in 1998. They wed at The Methodist Church in Kingston, Ohio on December 24, 1946.

    Martha attended Marietta College and Miami University before her marriage and joined Paul Wendell in farming where they raised crops and livestock.  She spent many hours working in the milk parlor and delivering milk, keeping the farm books, raising sows and piglets, and grinding and mixing feed for the cattle she eventually sorted. Martha’s love for the farm brought great joy to her life and she shared her agricultural knowledge with many others.

    Martha served her community in numerous ways.  She served on the Ohio Farm Bureau Board for 12 years after serving 20 years on the Ross County Farm Board.  The Ag Broadcasting Network selected Martha as Farm Wife of the Week in 1989. She belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution and was a 75 year member of Eastern Star.  Martha was a member of the Circleville Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder, deacon and trustee. She also was involved with the soup kitchen, making food for the Blood Mobile, preparation for the May Luncheon and baking for the Cookie Walk at the church.  She spent time volunteering in the Berger Hospital Gift Shop and was a poll worker for several elections.  Martha supported the Pickaway County Historical Society with time and donations.

    Martha’s servant heart led her to volunteer in many areas, especially square dancing with youth at the Pioneer School in Chillicothe and with the OhioReads program at Pickaway Elementary. She enjoyed working with the youth and was a supporter of Ross County 4-H. She also enjoyed reading, traveling, feeding her farm family, hosting dinners, theatre and antiquing.

    Martha is survived by her loving children, Suzanne Boren (Bill Castle), David (Mary Lou) Gearhart and John (Janice) Gearhart; her grandchildren, Jacob (Stacey) Gearhart, Jenna (John) Smith and Justin (Chelsea) Gearhart; her great-grandchildren, Hudson and Hayden Gearhart and Henrick and Rhys Smith.  Martha is also survived by her nephews, Bruce (Joann) Benzing, James (Donna) Benzing and Martin (Pauline) Benzing. Preceding Martha in death are her parents, Egbert and Glyde Freshour; brother, Tom Freshour; husband, Paul Wendell Gearhart; sister, Nancy Benzing; brother-in-law, James Benzing; nephew, Glenn Benzing; and special cousin, Kathryn Miller.

    Memorial services will be held for Martha on Thursday, December 14 at 11:00 a.m. at the Circleville Presbyterian Church (134 E. Mound Street, Circleville, OH 43113). Per her request, cremation has taken place and there will be no calling hours or funeral service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pioneer School (11268 County Road 550, Chillicothe, OH, 45601) or the Ross County 4-H Program – OSU Extension (475 Western Avenue, Ste. F, Chillicothe, Ohio, 45601) or any preferred charity. Arrangements have been entrusted to the HILL FUNERAL HOME, Kingston. Condolences can be made on Martha’s online guest registry at

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Memorial Service
December 14, 2023

11:00 AM
Circleville Presbyterian Church
134 E Mound St
Circleville , Ohio 43113


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