The Rev. Iris Elinor Weber Martin died on the twelfth day of Christmas at the age of 97, January 5, 2020 at the Evergreen Hospice House in Kirkland, Washington. Family and friends had gathered to support her last days. Iris was born to parents Walter and Clerice Weber in Yakima, Washington on November 23, 1922, the first of five children. She grew up on her parents apple farm in Lower Naches, near Yakima, Washington. There she developed a great affinity for chickens, cows and cats. Family camping trips kindled her life-long interest in travel. Iris would graduate from the University of Washington, with a Bachelor of Science (Botany). To earn money to pay for her education she would work alongside her Father at Boeing as a Mechanic and Inspector of B-17 and B-29s during WWII. There she would receive her greatest calling in life from God to preach the Gospel. Her obedience to this call paved the way for many women to follow. To prepare for ministry Iris would also attend Seattle Pacific College. The opportunity would arise to serve as a Parish Worker with the Board of National Missions, in the Lincoln Heights Housing Project, Tacoma. Iris would attend Seminary graduating from San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA, as the only woman in her class of 53 men, with a Master of Divinity in 1954, and a Master of Arts in Christian Education in 1955. She married the Rev. Adrian Ellis Martin in 1954. Three children were born and celebrated. Iris would serve as the Director of Religious Education at Trinity Reformed Church in Kent from 1967-1973; Assistant Pastor and Director of Christian Education at Fife Presbyterian Church from 1973 to 1977. Iris was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament on October 5,1975 by Olympia Presbytery, (UPCUSA), the first woman to ordained by Olympia Presbytery. She went on to become Pastor of the Church of the Indian Fellowship, Tacoma, Washington for 12 1/2 years. In 1992 she was called to be Pastor of Dupont Presbyterian Church until retiring in 2001. She would enjoy her role as Parish Associate for Visitation at Mission Woods Presbyterian Church through 2011. She developed a Bible Garden in Tillicum at the Church Center for the Presbytery.
Over her career in ministry Iris directed 46 Vacation Bible Schools and co-directed or headed a department in 16 more. Much joy was found in directing children’s choirs and serving as Dean of two Junior Horse Camps for the Presbytery. A show garden at her home in Edgewood provided many ribbon-winning entries for the Western Washington Fair and great joy. As a Master Gardener she was pleased to speak for gatherings, and be an active member and officer of the local Iris and Orchid Societies.
Iris was preceded in death by her husband Adrian of 40 years, and by two brothers Walter Weber and Victor Weber and one sister, Muriel Hill. One surviving sister, Loraine Burdick resides in Puyallup, WA. Carrying on her legacy are her three children; The Rev. Dr. Joyce Martin Emery (David) of McLean, VA; Paul W. Martin (Eileen) of Renton, WA; Noel S. Martin (Sherri) of Fernandina Beach, FL; grandchildren: Leah, Adam, Ben and John Emery; Julia and Anne Martin; Isa and Bennett Martin: and great-grandchildren, Joshua, Lucia, Alana, Lilian, Jane, Anya, Miles and Lincoln Emery, and many nieces and nephews. Family gatherings brought her great joy.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020, 11:00 a.m. at Mission Woods Presbyterian Church, 2003 Taylor St., Milton, WA 98354. Memorial gifts can be sent to the Mission Woods Church to be used for camp scholarships.
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