In Memory of....

Published: January 28, 2020Updated: January 28, 2020

TRIBUTE TO BETTY MARTIN-McPECK
By Lonnie & Jeannie Melashenko
Written January 27, 2020

Our distinguished Mt. Aetna Academy friend and beloved teacher Betty Martin-McPeck died this morning in Montrose, Colorado.  I’m sitting here late tonight in Phoenix reading Karyl Krieger’s email indicating she passed away today following circulatory and respiratory challenges too great to combat.  Truly a spiritual “Mother in Israel” and ambassador extraordinaire has fallen.  After years of quiet suffering and multitudinous medical challenges she finally slipped away like she lived.  Quietly.  Graciously.  With gentle dignity.  Without demands or harsh words or even a frown, she surrendered herself – a tired, frail, humble princess – into the waiting arms of her Savior. Death, selfish and cursed enemy of mankind, seemed to win another battle  
But Psalm 116:15 clearly states, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”  And Revelation 14:13 adds, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth...They rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.”  
Betty Martin’s works do follow her.  For hundreds of Academy students worldwide over the decades her quiet yet determined influence came into our lives; she left footprints on our hearts.  And we are never, ever the same.  Jeannie and I salute the life of this Deborah-like tough warrior.  And she self-admittedly told us last summer when we visited her, “Yes I’m tough!  I’m still as tough as nails!”   All who came to know her fell in love with Betty Martin. Her faithfulness, commitment, dedication and spiritual guidance inspired all of us who were her students.  She’s one of our last living MAA teachers.

Yet behind all that “toughness,” Betty modeled the character of Jesus – a testimony style that reached across cultural barriers to impact both young and old alike who loved her.  Sadly, for nearly a decade now despite her unique life imprisoned within those painful medical challenges Betty leaves behind a life legacy of well-marked Ebenezers – benchmarks that continue to reverberate in the lives of hundreds of us who are living legends -- legacies in people! -- persons whose lives were eternally influenced, changed, re-cast, transformed and redeemed – as a direct result of knowing and observing and loving Betty Martin.  Despite her painful medical disabilities, she touched our hearts.  She touched our lives.  And I am eternally grateful.  
Jeannie and I write this brief “Tribute for Betty” on this beautiful warm sunny Monday in Phoenix.  It’s wintry cold in Montrose, Colorado today.  So we can only imagine how Betty’s smile will broaden and her heart thrill to awake into heaven’s sunshine and hear the tabernacle choir music as Gabriel’s orchestra thunders throughout the universe.  She’ll get up with full health and eternal vigor pulsating through her veins.  On Resurrection morning she’ll meet her best “Forever Friend” Jesus!  Savior.  Healer.  Divine Teacher extraordinaire.  And see the Savior’s nail prints – tough as ever!
According to the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3, believers never die.  They fall asleep and “our 
lives are HID with Christ in God.”  We don’t understand those words, but it’s the Blessed Hope – 
“without which (Paul says) “we would of all men be most miserable.”   May that wonderful comfort sustain and encourage us as we celebrate her life.  Good-bye, Betty.  We’ll see you in the morning!