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Patrilla "Pat" Martz

September 16, 1918 - June 9, 2020
Portage, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Trinity Lutheran Church
504 South Westnedge
Kalmazoo, MI 49007
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Patrilla “Pat” Martz, it is easy to see that she was a lover of people. She was a nurturing caretaker by heart, and she thought nothing of making any sacrifice for anyone who was within her reach. The glue that held the family together, Pat was a loving and devoted mother who was thrilled beyond measure to welcome grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren into the family. She was known for her strong work ethic, and everything she did she did with all her heart. Life will never be the same without Pat here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

Life during the early 1900s looked drastically different from the daily life we know and love in America today. Unsafe working conditions were commonplace, and with a lack of child labor laws it was often the younger generation who paid the highest price. There were things to celebrate, too, as it was after the integral role our nation played in the end of WWI that America was recognized as a world leader for the first time. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great celebration in the lives of William and Janna (VanKruiningen) Webber as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Patrilla on September 16, 1918, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The third child in her family, they were given a tough pill to swallow with the death of her father when Pat was just a young girl. She left school early to get married, which was fairly common during that time. Later, Pat went back and received her diploma through Portage School.

As a young woman Pat married Freeman Herbert Lambert, and together they were blessed with the births of six children, Sandra, Gail , Diana, Paul, John, and Peter. Although their marriage later ended in divorce, Pat was always thankful for the children they shared. To support her family, Pat worked hard doing whatever she needed to in order to put food on the table. Among her many jobs she was a farm worker and a waitress. In 1956 Pat married Foster Martz and moved to Hastings. She then worked at Pennock Hospital as a physical therapist assistant. After several years she and Foster separated and she moved to Portage where she was employed at the Kalamazoo State Hospital, retiring after 10 years of service.

Through the years Pat took her roles as a mother and homemaker to heart. She was very clean, which were skills she learned from her mother and her Dutch heritage. As a mother she was strong, and her children knew they were to respect her and not talk back. Pat always told her kids that no matter how poor you are there is always soap and water and therefore no excuse to not be clean. Pat was a consistent disciplinarian, and she was the glue that always held the family together. For years she hosted both Christmas and Easter, and she loved hosting family and spending time all together. Pat was so proud to become a grandmother, and she continued to spend as much time with her family as possible, especially when great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren came along. She devoted her entire life to giving her children the best life she could.

There were so many things that Pat loved throughout her life. She enjoyed going out to eat, and although she was never picky about where they went she did love Olive Garden. For years Pat was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, and she enjoyed her visits with Pastor Johnson that always ended with prayer and communion. She never really adjusted to technology as that limited some of her time on the phone as well as some of her television watching. Pat liked playing Bingo, and she also enjoyed reading, embroidery, crossword puzzles, and paint by number. She did some traveling including trips to Florida several times, trips out West, and even a trip to Europe with a group. Most times Pat was traveling with a group or with her daughter, Gail. During her younger years she liked both bowling and golfing. The past three years were spent at Bronson Commons where Pat received excellent care. Pat’s 100th birthday party was a celebration to remember, and with so many people who came it was one of the best memories of her life.

All who knew Patrilla “Pat” Martz would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She had a good life, but she certainly faced trials at times, too. Pat counted every day she was given as a gift, and she lived to care for and nurture others in whatever way was needed. Fun-loving, hardworking, and gracious, she was a blessing in the lives of all who were near. A longtime part of the Kalamazoo community, Pat will be forever missed.

Patrilla “Pat” Martz, age 101 died on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. She will be remembered as a hard worker, a caring Mother, grandmother and great grandmother who lived a good but at times a hard life. Members of her family include her 6 children : Sandra (Eldon) Wallace, Diana (David) Corning, Paul (Elaine) Lambert and Peter (Arvin) Lambert. She was preceded in death by a daughter Gail Harrison, a son John Lambert and her siblings, Donnabelle Burlington, Thomas Webber and Patricia Carlisle. Other surviving members of her family include 3 step daughters: Linda Willard, Mary Henley, and Susan Ferrer, 16 grandchildren, 32 great, 22 great great grandchildren, a daughter-in-law Patsy Lambert and a son-in-law Ron Harrison. Cremation has taken place and a private burial will take place at the West Oshtemo Cemetery. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be announced. Please visit Pat’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Kalamazoo.