Martha Blanche Justice
Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home
202 Maple Avenue
Oak Hill, OH 45656
Martha T. “Bobbie” Justice, age 96, peacefully went to be with the Lord, after a lengthy illness, on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. Martha was born July 17, 1922 in St. Albans, West Virginia, the daughter of Vallie E. Toney and Hannah R. (Vangler) Toney.
Martha grew up a competitive youngster and graduated from Poca High School, Poca, West Virginia. She was athletic, as were her siblings. She enjoyed working on the family farm but competing with her sisters and brothers was her passion. It didn’t matter if it was tennis, ping pong, billiards, basketball, softball, cards, etc., she wanted to win. Her father even built a tennis court on their family farm so they could burn off that competitive energy. She carried that competitive nature well into her years; enjoying spirited card games and even UNO or Scrabble with her grandchildren. While she loved her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, she was a ruthless competitor and you had to earn a win!! For Martha, nothing in life was as important as her family. This love transcended well beyond her immediate family unit. She dearly loved all her siblings and all their families. While her grandchildren knew her as “Bobbi” her nieces and nephews knew her as “Blanche”.
She grew into a strong willed, independent woman. She believed, as her father taught her, the greatest responsibility as an American, was to vote and contribute to society. She was blind to skin color and life style but intrigued by culture. She believed the character of an individual was what should be used to formulate opinions of them. She believed people should work for what they earned. These characteristics served her well in life. Early in life, she worked as many as three jobs, at the same time, to care for her two children. Her work ethic and drive continually elevated her career. Ultimately, she achieved the position of Director of Ombudsman for the State of Ohio Worker’s Compensation and Industrial Commission Systems. She successfully changed the official name of her office to “Office of the Ombudsperson”. She often said, “Well, I’m not a man!” while presenting a clever smirk. Her excellent work and commitment to this office is still fondly remembered to this day. She was fearless and pursued the correct outcome regardless of whose toes or feelings needed attention. On multiple occasions her work was officially recognized by agency administrators, members of congress, and governors of Ohio. After retiring from the State of Ohio, Martha worked several more years for Larrimer & Larrimer Law Firm, and retired several more times, before retiring for the last time in her early 80’s. She always said she didn’t feel she was contributing to society unless she was working. Her final retirement was a difficult decision.
On July 4, 1965, Martha married the love of her life, Walter C. Justice. They were like peas and carrots and sometimes oil and water, but their love was immeasurable. They doted on each other, often buying expensive gifts for each other that pushed the limits of their finances. Walter loved surprising her with diamonds and beautiful furs. She loved watching him drive in his beautiful Cadillacs. They shared the love of athletics, cards, and traveling. They enjoyed watching the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Tennis. Walter shared Martha’s love for playing cards. A competitive game of Rook, Bridge, or Pinochle was always welcome. The greatest passion they shared was for their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and eventually great-great-grandchildren. To these children they were known as Bobbi and Papa. There was seemingly nothing they wouldn’t do for them. Martha loved to crochet and her grandchildren could regularly be seen sporting a multitude of interesting, well-crafted articles of clothing she’d made.
She was a Protestant and throughout her life, enjoyed serving the Lord and fellowship at church. She loved serving at the church until her health eventually prevented it. She also loved donating to charities. She admitted she had difficulty ignoring all those mailings pleading for donations and possibly had a bit of a problem. She admitted one year after Walter had passed; she actually donated more money to charities than her net income that year. She just couldn’t say, “No”. She was especially gracious with charities involving military veterans. Her favorite charity was World Vision, Sponsor a Child. She contributed monthly nearly her entire adult life.
Martha was preceded in death by her husband, Walter C. Justice; father, Vallie E. Toney; and mother, Hannah R. Toney; brothers: Vallie Toney, Howard (Reba) Toney, Alfred (Lib) Toney, and Delmar Toney; sister, Mae (Hugh) Miller; step-sister, Louise Segars; grandchildren, Tonyia R. Hakes and Josh Fairchild; and grandson-in-law, Steven M. Dunn.
She is survived by her children, Hannah Rita Katy (Hobert) Fairchild of Thurman, Ohio and John (Linda) Fulknier of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; sister, Francis (Bill) Roberts of Tampa, Florida; step-sister, Georgia Toney of Edinburg, Texas; step-brothers, Bill Toney and Mike Toney, both of West Virginia; grandchildren: Stephen “Mike” (Teresa) Hakes of Centerburg, Ohio, Kelly Dunn of Oak Hill, Ohio, Felicia (Doug Kemp) Lewellen of Lancaster, Ohio, Hobie Staten of Gallipolis, Ohio, Katrina (Dale) Slark of Jackson, Ohio, Chris (Christian) Fulknier of Circleville, Ohio, Allan (Kristin Fulcher) Fulknier of Washington, Pennsylvania, Ashley Fairchild of Thurman, Ohio, Danielle (Ben) Barnett of Jackson, Ohio, Chris Fairchild of Thurman, Ohio, Toney Fairchild of Wellston, Ohio, Aaron Fairchild of Thurman, Ohio, and Jaxon Fairchild of Thurman, Ohio; 30 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great-grandchildren, countless nieces and nephews, as well as many, many other family members and wonderful friends.
Martha was an individual who never stopped giving and loving. She had beautiful hair and a smile that was undeniably beautiful. She was a stunning woman in every sense.
Calling hours will be held Saturday, January 26, 2019, from 11am – 1pm at the Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home of Oak Hill, Ohio. Funeral services will immediately follow at 1pm. There will be no graveside services. Online condolences may be sent to www.lewisgillum.com.