Martha Finch, age 95, of Hayden, Idaho, (formerly of Grand Coulee, Washington) passed away at Hayden Valley Assisted Living, on Thursday, August 8, 2013. Martha Eliszibetha Hirsch Mundt Finch was born at her family’s homestead, Crow Rock Dawson County, Montana, north of Miles City to Jacob and Anna Margaretha (Redman) Hirsch on May 31, 1918. Martha grew up on the homestead, the fifth of ten siblings
On December 20, 1946, she married Boyd Douglas Finch 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 completed 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. Her education plans were again put aside.
Martha lived in San Luis 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. After working again in Miles City, she eventually settled in Grand Coulee, Washington, working as a cook at the Wild Life Restaurant. She met her husband Boyd at the Wild Life, 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 also 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 1950s through the 1970s. Her final job before retirement was planning and preparing meals at the Grand Coulee Senior Center. She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, the Eagles Lodge and Women’s Professional Rodeo Assn.; she lead 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 crack shot with a rifle), bowling, rodeoing, fishing and camping. Martha participated in the Women’s Rodeo Assn. during the 1960s, 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 of her paintings to family and friends. Martha was widowed in 1985 and moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 1998 to be near her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. She resided at the Loyalton retirement and assisted living community from 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 at Hayden Valley Assisted Living in Hayden, Idaho. She remained in their compassionate care until her death. Hospice of North Idaho assisted in providing her end-of-life comfort care.
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, Miles City, Mont.; Ted Hirsch, Miles City, Mont., Ruth Thomas, Clarkston, Wash., Ruby & (George) Fields, Seattle, Wash; Gertrude Fisher, Miles City, Mont; Elmer Hirsch, Billings, Mont; and by 30 nieces & nephews, and their children who she held close in her heart.
She was preceded in death by her husband Boyd, her parents and her siblings Edna Hirsch Schmidt, Edwin Hirsch and Hilda Hirsch Fiechtner.
The family extends their thanks to the staff and residents of Loyalton, who were a second family for nine years. Thanks to the caring, dedicated staff at Life Care Center of Coeur d’Alene. Lastly a special heartfelt thanks to the exceptional care givers at Hayden Valley Assisted Living for providing loving care, compassion and dignity during Martha’s final time on earth. Thankful prayers to Pastor Roberts for his providing the Lord’s comforting words and prayers. 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! Keeping Martha close in your heart, your prayers, and sharing her life stories is abundant memorial. Should you wish to honor her life with a monetary memorial, please select a charity of your choice: Grand Coulee Senior Center (509-633-2351), Hospice of North Idaho (208-772-7994), Family Worship Center (208-772-4267) or Zion Lutheran Church (509-633-2566)
Graveside service was held Aug. 13 at Spring Canyon Cemetery, Grand Coulee. A celebration of Martha’s life was held Aug. 14 at Hayden, Idaho.