Martha Ajango, 81 of Fort Atkinson, passed away on March 25, 2014 while in rehab at Alden Estates in Jefferson, WI.
She was born Martha Jane Mallett, the only daughter of Ruth (Rightmyer) and Monroe Mallett, on October 12, 1932 in Springfield, Ohio.
Martha was raised in Springfield, OH graduating with honors and a B.S. in Education from Wittenberg University – where she met the love of her life, Helmut Ajango. They were united in marriage on May 30, 1953. In 1958 Martha moved with her architect husband to Fort Atkinson where Helmut accepted a job with Waterman, Fuge & Associates. They had been active members of the Fort Atkinson community ever since.
During her early years in Fort Atkinson Martha was especially active in Jaycettes – and was elected as State President in 1964. She will be remembered by many long-time Fort Atkinson residents as a first-grade teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School – where she taught for 31 years. Martha’s love of teaching continued the rest of her life. Until her passing she was a tutor for the Jefferson County Literacy Council.
Martha was an integral member of the Fort Atkinson faith community. The United Brotherhood of Christ (now Grace United Church) was born in her living room in 1967 and was literally built “from-the-ground-up” shortly thereafter. She helped to establish Fort Atkinson’s community-based The Thrift Shop – where she served as President and continued to volunteer for 25 years. She was also an active member and past-president of the Fort Atkinson Woman’s Club.
Martha attended Grace United Church and was a member at the First United Methodist Church. She was in demand in southern Wisconsin as a lay speaker and was a Lay Director for Walk to Emmaus. Her faith journey led her to publish two books – Messages Everywhere (2005) and Glimpses of Guidance (2008). She has been a friend, mentor, and guiding light for many residents of Fort Atkinson and will be sorely missed – especially by her bridge partners!
Martha is survived by her cousin Robert (Joanne) Thompson of Springfield, OH; daughter Deborah Ajango (Blaine Smith) of Eagle River, AK; son Michael (Janet) of DePere, WI; daughter-in-law Alisa Ajango of Cedar Rapids, IA; as well as seven grandchildren: Niina Konz, Daniel Ajango, Kelsey Ajango, Lauren Pettey-Ajango, Alison Ajango, Grant Ajango, and Jessica Jakoubek; and two great-grandchildren Lynsie and Tygan Jakoubek.
Martha was preceded in death by her husband Helmut; son Bradley (Cedar Rapids, IA); her mother Ruth Mallett and father Monroe Mallett (Springfield, OH).
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 5th at 11:00am at the First United Methodist Church, 320 S. Main, Fort Atkinson, WI. Visitation will be held on Friday, April 4th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm – as well as from 10:00am to 11:00am on Saturday, April 5th. Both visitations will be held at First United Methodist Church.
In place of flowers, memorials may be made in Martha’s name to the Jefferson County Literacy Council, 218 Wisconsin Drive, Jefferson, WI 53549.
The Dunlap Memorial Home is assisting the family.