The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care




Graveside services for Martha Finch will be Tuesday Aug 13, at 11a.m., with coffee and dessert reception at Zion Lutheran Church to follow.

Martha Finch, age 95, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (formerly of Grand Coulee, Washington) passed away August 8, 2013 at Hayden Valley Assisted Living. Martha Elizabeth Hirsch Mundt Finch was born at her family’s homestead near Crow Rock, Montana on May 31, 1918 to Jacob and Anna Margaretha (Redman) Hirsch. Martha grew up on the homestead ranch and farm, the fifth of ten siblings. She married Boyd Douglas Finch on December 20, 1946 in Boise, Idaho. During their 39 year marriage they resided north of Grand Coulee, Washington where they ranched and farmed. Martha and Boyd had one daughter, Colleen (Finch) Denning.

Martha was allowed to complete the eighth grade, after which she was sent out to work. While in Miles City, she had various jobs: in the Chinese Laundry, as a live-in housekeeper/cook for a ranch family, and as a waitress. She decided to go to high school and finish her education, however her employer said she would lose her job – he didn’t think anyone could work and go to school at the same time. Thus, her education plans were again put aside.

Martha lived in San Louis Obispo, California during WWII and was a civilian driver for the Army. She chauffeured officers and drove truck. She also lived in Astoria, Oregon and worked in a fish cannery for a day and decided it was not for her. She then worked in a lumber mill pulling boards from the planer and was promoted to Counter for boards coming off the planer. She eventually settled in Grand Coulee, Washington during construction of the Grand Coulee Dam, where she was a cook at the Wild Life Restaurant. It was at the Wild Life that she met her husband, Boyd, when he sent a good tip to the gal who cooked his steak! In addition to being a full-time ranch wife, helping with the livestock, she milked cows, raised 500 layer chickens and sold milk, cream and eggs to Darigold in the 1950’s. She also worked at various restaurants in Grand Coulee in the late 1950’s through the 1970’s. Her final job before retirement was at the Grand Coulee Senior Center, planning and preparing meals.

She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, the Eagles Lodge, and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. She led a troop of Brownies and helped with Girl Scouts and was involved in Ridge Riders. During retirement she volunteered at the Grand Coulee Senior Center.

Martha had a desire for adventure, lived life fully, and enjoyed her life-long friends. She was always willing to help someone in need, whether they were family, friend, neighbor or stranger. She was athletic and enjoyed pastimes of hunting (she was a crack shot with a rifle), bowling, rodeoing, fishing and camping.

Martha participated in the Women’s Rodeo Association during the 1960’s, clowning the rodeos and entering various events. She was an excellent seamstress, upholsterer, and leather worker. She had a natural talent for drawing, and enhanced her talent with oil painting classes, resulting in the gifting of many paintings to family.

Martha was widowed in 1985 and remained in Grand Coulee until 1998, at which time she moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to be near her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. She resided at the Loyalton retirement and assisted living community form January 1999 to July 2008. She moved to Life Care Center of Coeur d’Alene in July 2008 to September 2011. Martha’s final residence was Hayden Valley Assisted Living in Hayden, Idaho. She remained in their compassionate care until her death.

Martha is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Colleen (Finch) and James Denning; granddaughter, Laura Denning; siblings and spouses, Alfred and Eunice Hirsch of Miles City, MT, Ted Hirsch of Miles City, MT, Ruth Thomas of Clarkston, WA, Ruby and George Fields of Seattle, WA, Gertrude Fisher of Miles City, MT and Elmer Hirsch of Billings, MT; and 29 nieces and nephews who she held close in her heart.

The family extends their thanks to Colleen Mamon, Wendy Hersel and Mary Reese for their continued visits, sharing the jokes and rhyming songs Martha enjoyed so much. Thanks also to the staff and residents at Loyalton who became her second family, and to the staffs at Life Care Center of Coeur d’Alene and Hayden Valley Assisted Living who provided wonderful care, compassion and dignity to Martha’s final time on earth.

Her family takes great joy in knowing Martha is at Peace and in Comfort with her Lord, and we celebrate her Life which she lived with great gusto, embracing every adventure that came her way! Mom, we will miss your jokes, your songs, your laughter, and your good advice!

You might be interested in:

Reader Comments

Rendered 06/03/2018 13:36