Martha Jane Gifford

HAVERHILL, Mass. — We joyfully announce that Martha Jane Gifford (previously Thrasher/Ward) has joined her mother Mary Ward Shields and other family who have passed, including five siblings after a lengthy 15 year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She passed peacefully at Baker Katz nursing home in Haverhill, Mass. on April 26, 2018, with loving family by her side.

Martha Jane is survived by two other siblings and  two daughters, whom she loved so very much. Julie Miller (Thrasher/Ervin) of Pesotum, IL and Misti Joél Goodwin (Thrasher) of Concord, NH. She also has five precious grandchildren and six beautiful great-grandchildren who will all miss her. She is also survived by her childhood best friend Rosie Wickenhauser (Thayer) of Clinton, Ill. 

She loved her family and friends and cherished time spent with them. Martha Jane loved gardening, everything involving the ocean, and wildlife. She also was gifted with a magnificent singing voice and enjoyed playing her piano, performing and singing for many weddings, funerals, and church. She also loved cooking, laughing, and collecting miniature dollhouses. Most of all, she was a devoted Christian who loved the Lord.

A celebration of life is being planned and will be held in August 2018 in her home state of Illinois, near Clinton. Contributions may be made in memory of Martha Jane Gifford to The Alzheimer’s Association by going to their website at or by calling 800-272-3900 or by mail with a check to PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.



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