A rosary service for Martha Crouthers Grindler was held at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2021. A mass of Christian burial was held at 2 p.m. on February 1, 2021at Saint Matthews Catholic Church with Father Tom Nellis officiating. The family only greeted after the funeral mass in the social hall of Saint Matthews Catholic Church due to COVID-19. Masks were required and available. Interment was held privately at Oldespivey Family Cemetery in Emanuel County.
Martha Crouthers Grindler was born in Kennett, Missouri on September 12, 1950, the second of six daughters born to James L. Crouthers and Viva Elizabeth Burch Crouthers. She died peacefully at home on Brannen Lake with her family at her bedside. Her father was a medic in the USAF, and she lived and went to school all over the world. After her father developed life-ending cancer, her mother settled in Canton near her family and raised the six girls. Martha graduated from Cherokee High School and went on to graduate from West Georgia College, where she was a member of Chi Omega. She travelled to Dijon, France in the summer of 1969 on a study abroad program sponsored by the University of Georgia. There, she met her future husband, who was enrolled in the same summer program at the University of Dijon. After they were married, she and her husband settled in his hometown of Swainsboro, where she taught second grade until the birth of her children.
She later received her master’s degree from Georgia Southern University and EdD from the University of Georgia. Dr. Grindler taught in the Department of Early Childhood and Reading Education at GSU for 10 years and especially enjoyed being part of Marvin Pittman Laboratory School. When asked what she did at the university, her reply was always, “I teach teachers how to teach.”
The Grindlers raised their two children in Swainsboro and Statesboro. In Swainsboro, Martha was a constant volunteer, was elected to the Emanuel County Board of Education for two consecutive terms, serving eight years, where she was instrumental in the construction of the new Swainsboro High School. She was appointed to the Georgia Board of Humanities by Governor George Busbee and served as a member of that board for a number of years, making worthy grants to various projects throughout the state.
In 1995, she and her husband retired to East Beach on Saint Simons Island, where she was an active volunteer as a court-appointed special advocate, representing children’s rights in the court system of Glynn County. She was a story reader to children at Saint Simons Elementary School. She was a very active member of Saint Williams Catholic Church and other organizations. She and her husband along with friends returned to New York and Europe on many occasions, falling in love with the village of Taormina, Sicily on the Mediterranean, to which they returned numerous times. After 10 years of pleasant life on the ocean and much traveling, she and her husband moved to Brannen Lake in Statesboro to be near their children, where she began a long battle with cancer. She was active in Saint Matthews Catholic Church, loving her Bible study group and her many church friends. She was a constant volunteer at Soup Kitchen, Silver Lining Club, and other functions. She loved being with her Mahjong Buddies and with The Hilton Head Honeys and traveling companions Mel and Karla Fishman of Saint Simons.
Martha is survived by her husband of 49 years, Alex Grindler, and her two children, Liz Grindler Bland and Jim Grindler (Shannon), both of Statesboro. Her love for her two granddaughters, Laurabeth Bland of Athens and Carson Caroline Grindler, had no bounds. She is also survived by four sisters: Mima Corbett (Charles) of Canton, Mandy Mills (Frank) of Canton, Melissa Edwards (Charles) of Canton, and Monica Trice (Larry) of Fort Myers, Florida. Her sister, Margie Bagwell (Bob), predeceased her. Numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins mourn her loss.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Area Christians Together in Service (ACTS), 515 Denmark Street, Suite 500, Statesboro, GA 30458 or to Ogeechee Area Hospice, or the charity of their choice.