Martha Foxwell

Dorchester Star - - Obituaries/Classifieds -

CAM­BRIDGE — Martha Foxwell was born Martha Frances Sim­mons on Nov. 14, 1921, the sec­ond child of Blanche Aaron Sim­mons and Mon­roe Tal­madge Sim­mons of Fish­ing Creek, Hooper’s Is­land, MD.

She mar­ried Daniel Henry Foxwell on Dec. 23, 1939, and they cel­e­brated al­most 65 years of mar­riage be­fore his death in Sept. 2004. She is sur­vived by their chil­dren: Mary Frances Du­vall, wife of the late James E. Du­vall, of Cam­bridge, MD; Henry Tal­mage Foxwell, hus­band of Shirley M. Foxwell of Lans­dale, PA; and Mar­garet Foxwell Ship­ley, wife of Fred­er­ick E. Ship­ley Jr. of Hous­ton, TX. Martha was also blessed to know her grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren. Her grand­chil­dren are: James C. Du­vall of Cam­bridge; Diana L. Foxwell of Hobo­ken, NJ; Lisa R. Tedesco of Penns­burg, PA; Matthew B. Ship­ley of Oakton, VA; and J. Brooke Ship­ley of Galve­ston, TX; great-grand­chil­dren: Ni­cholas Tedesco, Thomas Tedesco, Joshua Ship­ley, Ryan Ship­ley, Me­gan Ship­ley and Daniel Ship­ley. She is also sur­vived by two sis­ters, Mil­dred Brooks of Wool­ford, MD; and Lottie May Ins­ley of Cam­bridge, MD.

Martha S. Foxwell could make a home wher­ever she lived. Dur­ing the WWII years she trav­eled alone and later with her chil­dren to her hus­band’s duty sta­tions, trav­el­ing from Fish­ing Creek through Cam­bridge, to Selma, Alabama, and Salina, Kansas, where her first daugh­ter and her son, re­spec­tively, were born.

Packing crates be­came end ta­bles, and boxes ser ved as other fur­ni­ture but the home was al­ways filled with her warmth and love. Her story of sneak­ing out of a dor­mi­tory room at a ho­tel to avoid her car be­ing taken away be­cause she had bald tires but no vouch­ers to get them fixed then driv­ing to her par­ents’ home where the tires im­me­di­ately blew out, showed us all an ex­am­ple of the de­ter­mi­na­tion, per­se­ver­ance, and fam­ily-ori­en­ta­tion of Martha.

Once es­tab­lished in Cam­bridge, Martha made a home for three chil­dren and her hus­band. Trav­el­ing was still im­por­tant to her whether in Mary­land, across the United States, or in Europe. But, her pri­mary com­mit­ment out­side of her fam­ily was to her com­mu­nity and her church. Born a Methodist, she con­verted to Catholi­cism and raised her chil­dren in that faith. She was an ac­tive mem­ber of the St. Mary Refuge of Sin­ners Al­tar So­ci­ety, sang in the Church choir, taught Sunday School to hun­dreds of chil­dren and later, opened a re­li­gious goods store which contributed to the church’s oper­a­tional bud­get.

In the com­mu­nity, she was an ac­tive mem­ber of the lo­cal Demo­crat party serv­ing as a poll worker for many years. With the chil­dren in school, she be­came the Cafe­te­ria Man­ager at Academy Ele­men­tary School. Later, she worked as the School Li­brar­ian at the Vi­enna Ele­men­tary School in Vi­enna, MD, passing on to other gen­er­a­tions her love of read­ing.

Martha en­joyed play­ing sports in her school days in Fish­ing Creek, bas­ket­ball with her chil­dren in the back­yard at their Cam­bridge home and golf with her hus­band. Bridge was her fa­vorite less phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and gar­den­ing, es­pe­cially in her rose gar­den, was a pas­sion and a tal­ent of hers.

Martha S. Foxwell leaves be­hind a legacy of love of fam­ily, com­mit­ment to what­ever de­ci­sions we make in life, and car­ing for oth­ers. Im­por­tantly, she taught us also how to prop­erly pick a crab which she learned first-hand work­ing in the fam­ily packing house on Hooper’s Is­land as a child. Oys­ters were our next les­son, cooked slowly on a char­coal grill where we all gath­ered around to talk and shuck as our pre­lude to Thanks­giv­ing Din­ner. Her lessons taught have be­come our trea­sured mem­o­ries.

A Mass of Chris­tian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at St. Mary Refuge of Sin­ners Catholic Church, with Fa­ther Bruce By­rolly of­fi­ci­at­ing. In­ter­ment will fol­low at Dorch­ester Me­mo­rial Park. Fam­ily will re­ceive friends from 10 to 11 at the church.

Ar­range­ments are in the care of the Thomas Funeral Home, P.A. in Cam­bridge.


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