Irma Martin, age 99, of Madison, died Tuesday, November 2, 2021, at Bethel Lutheran Home in Madison. Per her request, no funeral service will be held. Inurnment will be held at Ash Grove Cemetery.
Irma she was born on May 8, 1922, to Alvin and Mary (Struwe) Brooks. Irma attended Spring Lake school number 9 in Kingsbury County for her elementary school years. She attended Sinai High School one year, and completed her high school years at Ramona, graduating in 1939 as salutatorian of a small class.
After President Roosevelt established the N.Y.A. (National Youth Administration) to enable eligible young people to earn their tuition, Irma was able to complete the one-year course offered at Eastern State Normal. The completion of this course allowed a student to teach in rural schools. Later she was able to earn her elementary degree, allowing her to teach in any town school in SD. It wasn’t until 1965 when she would be able to acquire her four-year degree at General Beadle State College in Madison.
Irma Brooks married George Carmody in 1942 at Pipestone, MN. They worked at Kaiser Shipyards in Portland, OR, during the WWII years. Irma worked as a welder until October of 1945 when the Kaiser Swan Island shipyards was closed. She and her husband returned to SD and were later divorced.
After returning to SD, Irma went back to teaching in rural schools. She taught for 26½ years in various places. She felt that two years in a rural school was enough for both pupils and teacher as all needed a change. She taught in Kingsbury, Brookings, Lake, and Moody counties. She would eventually have to give up teaching because of increasing paperwork and eye problems. During part of this time, she resided with her brother, Melvin Brooks on their family farm in Kingsbury County until she married Raymond Martin. The family farm was in Section 36 of Kingsbury County. Always interested in history, Irma noted that General Beadle set aside Sections 16 & 36 of Kingsbury County as school lands in SD.
Irma married Raymond “Curly” Martin in 1957. He passed away in 1998. In the mid 1960’s they bought a small acreage north of Madison where they did some farming. They did a little of everything from growing crops to raising pigs, cows, sheep, chickens and various other farm animals. Irma sold eggs and cream for extra income as well as for the social interaction it brought.
She used a hearing aid for several years until no hearing aid would work. However, she was able to qualify for a cochlear implant in 1999. This enabled her to talk to people but not soon enough to be able to talk to her husband. Irma was on the forefront in the use of this new technology, and she taught the audiologists as much as she learned. As with most things in her life, she was always ready to try something new.
As a resident of Bethel Home, Irma kept busy preserving history for future generations. She was always busy sorting legal papers, memories, pictures, etc. She sent many items to the Lake County Museum.
Irma was always available to help others and will be remembered for her many kindnesses. She is survived by a few distant relatives.
She was preceded in death by her parents, older brother Melvin Brooks, two infant brothers, and her husband, Raymond “Curly” Martin.
Arrangements are with the Ellsworth Funeral Home in Madison.