Martha “Marty” Elizabeth Gardner Wernig passed away peacefully on October 29, 2018 in Naples, Florida. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Raymond R. Wernig.
She was born in Minneapolis, MN to the late Esther and Louis Gardner. She spent her early childhood in Ft. Wayne, Indiana before moving to Madison Wisconsin. She attended the University of Wisconsin and was an active member of Delta, Delta, Delta Sorority. While at the University, she was chosen to be a Badger Beauty. In her sophomore year, she met the love of her life, Raymond Wernig, from Akron Ohio. They married in June 1941 and recently celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary.
World War II interrupted their early years of marriage. While Ray was overseas, Marty moved back to Madison and worked at the USO. She loved her work and felt she was doing what she could to support the war efforts.
After the War ended, Marty and Ray moved to Akron Ohio where they raised six children. She adored her husband and children and her life centered around them.
Marty did volunteer work at Our Lady of the Elms, and St. Sebastian Catholic School where her children attended. With four daughters, she was a Girl Scout Troop leader and cookie chairman many times. She was an active volunteer with the St. Sebastian Flower Show. She loved her work at St. Thomas Hospital, where she was a member of the Women’s Board and served as President of the Women’s Board for two years. She also served as Chairman of the Pink Ball and was active over the years with Day at the Races. When Blossom Music Center opened in Akron Ohio in 1968, the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra, Marty was the founding co-chair of ticket sales. She was a member of the Women’s Board at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. She served as a guide in the Manor House and was an active member of the Curatorial Committee for 20 years.
Marty and Ray traveled the world extensively with family and friends. They settled in Naples Florida for their retirement years. The Raymond R. and Martha G. Wernig Foundation was established on June 15, 2000 to support their philanthropic interests. Many charities continue to benefit from their generosity in Akron and their focus in Naples was Habitat for Humanity and Guadalupe Center.
Marty enjoyed an incredible life and a beautiful love story. She is survived by her six children Stephanie, Cynthia Parry, Charles “Chip” (Peggy), Mia Elfrink (Joe), Jennifer Groth (Bill) and R Mark (Colleen), 16 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Wernig Foundation c/o Morgan Stanley 3700 Embassy Parkway Suite 304 Akron Ohio 44333, or the charity of your choice.