Martha “Molly” Pierce, age 85, of New Smyrna Beach, FL., passed away peacefully at home early December 9, 2018.
Martha was born and grew up in Council Bluffs, IA and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1951. As the 4th of 5 children in a large Irish-Swedish clan, Martha deeply loved her family and church. Even then she was recognized for her artistic interests and talent.
After graduation, working in Omaha, NE, she met her true love: a “fly boy” from Offutt Air Force Base. She married Ernest Pierce on December 27, 1952 and moved to Auburn, AL where he finished college. His career involved moves, especially between WI and TN. As their family grew, Martha pursued her art via nearby universities and museums and was active in church. Only when grandchildren arrived, did her art take a back seat. Then Molly and Grandpa made hundreds of road trips to see their grandchildren and visit family & friends along the way!
Since retiring to New Smyrna Beach, Martha stayed in touch with friends from both Underwood Baptist Church of Wauwatosa, WI and First Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. As a member of the Smyrna Yacht Club, she exhibited in the SYC’s annual art show. She volunteered at the Coronado Community United Methodist Church boutique and was a sister in P.E.O. Chapter EK.
Martha was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years Ernest Lamar Pierce and 3 siblings: Robert C Flanagan, Lila Lee Burke and John B Flanagan.
She is survived by her 3 children Karen (Jim) Miller of New Smyrna Beach, Janet (Jeff) Davis of Bryson City, NC, and David Lamar (Rosy Swicegood) Pierce of Maryville, TN. Also surviving are 7 grandchildren: Jessica Davis, Kara Davis (Juan) Ayala, Anna Davis, Andrew Lamar Pierce, Abby Pierce, Angie Miller (Ken) Tucci, and Brent Miller; 2 great-grandchildren: Alix Tucci and Kyle Pierce Ayala; brother Donald (Virginia) Flanagan of Spring Hill, KS and Ernest’s brother Gerald (Mary Ruth) Pierce of Lanett, AL as well as a large extended family.
The family would like to thank friends and family both locally and afar for your calls, cards, letters, and visits. Martha loved all of it and knew each of you to the very end. A special thanks to her caregivers of recent months and the Lexington Place staff & residents for the help, friendship and dignity you gave her.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 11:00 am at Settle-Wilder’s New Smyrna Beach Chapel, with Reverend Nancy Griswold officiating. A reception will follow at the Smyrna Yacht Club. The family plans to place both Martha and Ernest together at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, or any local organization offering the love of art to a child.