Martha Eleanor Singer-Vandygriff, 89, passed away peacefully with her loving husband and family by her side on Sunday, February 6, 2022 at New Perspectives Senior Living in Silvis.
Martha was born to Leona and William Singer on July 27,1932 in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated from Clay High School class of 1950.
Martha became the bride of Leon Joseph Vandygriff upon his return from the Korean Conflict, on November 28, 1953 at Christ the King Catholic Church in South Bend. They were married for 68 years and were inseparable for 73 years. Together they were actively involved parents for their four children. She took great pride in placing her family first and she taught her children the values of generosity, hard work, and respect. Her pride and joy were her four grandchildren; she frequently said that they were “perfect”. You would find her enthusiastic support at every event her children and grandchildren participated in. She embraced the joy of living through the love of her family and cherished watching them compete and perform.
Martha worked for the Studebaker American Wagon and Automobile Company in the 1950’s. After staying home with her young children she returned to the workforce in food service at St. Mary’s College and later worked for Marriott International as the food service director for St. Joseph High School in South Bend, Indiana.
Her family lived in South Bend until 1988 when they moved to Plymouth, Indiana and enjoyed the waterfront of Lake Tahoe. Following retirement they moved to Rock Island, Illinois in 2001.
Martha was actively involved in PTA groups, Cub Scouts, Bluebirds and Girl Scouts, she also coached youth softball and volleyball. Martha was an excellent cook (best ever scotcharoos and chocolate chip cookies), she enjoyed bowling, listening to music and playing the clarinet (the Notre Dame Fight Song was her specialty). She was an avid reader and a puzzle enthusiast that was fond of a pontoon boat ride at dusk. Martha was known to play a competitive hand of euchre, harvest a bountiful vegetable garden and offer her opinion to a referee or umpire. She was an avid Notre Dame and Indiana Hoosier fan. She especially enjoyed events that would support family, youth and athletics.
As the family matriarch has left us, we are saddened with the tremendous loss of her physical presence, yet we are blessed with vibrant memories and warm, loving family traditions.
Family blessed with her unconditional love include her devoted husband, Leon; her children Greg (Andrew Conway) Vandygriff of New South Wales, Australia; Jeff (Kym) Vandygriff of Rock Island, Illinois; Susan (Lisa Moye) Vandygriff of St. Cloud, Florida and Sandra (Greg) Gaither of Spokane, Washington. Grandchldren: Patrick Vandygriff and JJ (Bailie) Vandygriff of Rock Island, Illinois; Tara (Ryan) Hiscox of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Briar Gaither (Greg Howard) of Palmer, Alaska; Great Grandchildren: Myla and Leah Vandygriff; In-laws Barbara and Jim Vandygriff and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Mary McCaw and In-laws Kenny and Carol Vandygriff.
Cremation rites have been accorded. A mass will be said in her honor celebrated by her nephew, Fr. Robert Van Kempen at St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church in Bristol, Indiana. A celebration of her life will be held in Rock Island in May of 2022 and she will be laid to eternal rest in The National Cemetery on the Rock Island Arsenal.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Unitypoint Hospice, Moline, Illinois.