GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — Martha Pera Woodward, age 96, passed away quietly on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, at home.
Born April 8, 1917, in Cleveland, she was the only child of Martha Haefeli and Eusebio “Pop” Pera. She was a 1935 graduate of Geneva High, going on to Miami University for her Bachelor’s degree.
She worked beside her parents in their Cleveland restaurant and then in 1921 they moved to Geneva-on-the-Lake where they bought the New Inn (now the Swiss Chalet). They continued to invest and build in Geneva-on-the-Lake throughout the years.
She met her future husband, Donald George Woodward, in high school and they worked together at the Pier Dance Hall while dating.
As the years passed, they oversaw several businesses at the Lake while raising their family.
She is survived by her children, Marty Fenlason, Donna (Ron) Colby and Don “Woody” (Cheryl) Woodward; grandchildren, Don C. Woodward, Megan Woodward, Kaytlin Fenlason, Elisa Roth, Ronnie Colby and Ryan Colby; great-grandson, Hunter Roth; and great-granddaughter, Leora Woodward. She also leaves behind her good friend and loving caregiver, Barbara Paine. Martha also has several great-nieces and great-nephews in Italy and Switzerland.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 1995; her parents; and a son.
Martha was very active in her community, and continued to be involved in village functions into her 90's. She served on the Geneva-on-the-Lake Council from 1947 to 1977, the first woman elected to the village council. She was a charter member of both the Geneva-on-the-Lake Blazettes Fire Auxiliary and the Geneva-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce. A life-long Democrat and former precinct committeeperson, she supported and worked for the party for over 60 years. She was an active member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Geneva.
Services will be held at Noon on Monday, Dec. 23rd, at St. John's Lutheran Church, 811 S. Broadway, Geneva.