Martha Ann High Offutt
Martha Ann High Offutt, 87, died on Oct. 21, 2016 while a resident at Hospice of the Panhandle’s inpatient facility. She was surrounded by her loving daughters who had moved their parents to Martinsburg to provide care in their declining years. Born Oct. 1, 1929 in Clarksburg to Ralph G. High and Willa Bessie Bond Westfall who preceded her in death, her birth coincided with the great U.S. stock market crash. She was married for 63 years to Vere C. Offutt who preceded her in death in 2012. She is survived by family members including daughters, Dr. Suzanne Offutt, and husband, Dr. Michael Zagarella of Shepherdstown and Jan Offutt of Shepherdstown; and son, Paul Offutt, and wife, Eleanor, of Tucson, Arizona. Her grandchildren include Morgan Haye and wife, Christine of Clifton, Virginia; Alex Haye of Richmond, Virginia; Jade Zagarella of Martinsburg; Logan Zagarella and wife, Stephanie, of Shepherdstown; and Nicholas Offutt of Tucson. Her wonderful great-grandchildren include Cora and Juliet Haye and Taison Zagarella.
Mrs. Offutt is also survived by her brother, Robert High and wife, Marie, of Venice, Florida; and sisters, Barbara Smith, and Franklin; and Nancy Mitchell, and Robert, all of Stonewood, West Virginia. Her sister-in-law, Betty Offutt, of Fairmont, is the only surviving relative of the original six Offutt brothers and their wives. She is also survived by a special niece, Cathy Enoch, special friend, Loretta Rundle of Fairmont, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Also preceding her in death are her brother, Edward High of Sumter, South Carolina; sister, Donna June Enoch Benton of Winchester, Virginia; step-father, Clarence Westfall and step-mother, Clara B High.
Mrs. Offutt spent her adult life in Fairmont, where she flourished as a fiber artist continuing a family tradition of skilled needle artisans. A maker of quilts in traditional patchwork, applique and crazy patch design, she specialized in Brazilian style embroidery applying this technique to clothing, wall-hangings, and ornaments. She was most proud of her contributions to the teaching and sustenance of fiber arts in WV and throughout the United States. She was recently recognized for 25 years of teaching in the WV Extension Services’ quilting retreats and was named the outstanding Marion County Fiber Artist in 2002.
Mrs. Offutt served her family, friends, and community. She worked with the early restoration of Prickett’s Fort outside Fairmont, and served as a judge and curator for many quilt projects in the state. She served on the Board of Directors of both the local and the national YWCA. She was a 40 year member of the Central Christian Church in Fairmont where she sang in the choir. She and her husband were kind and generous to many people who passed through their lives providing financial resources and living accommodations to many including great Aunt Anna McCauley Trembly who resided with them until her 112th year when she passed away in 1986. They were most proud of their three children’s completion of college as the first members of their families to accomplish that. They continued to support other young people helping with tuition and housing so that they could go to college.
Memorial services will be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Shepherdstown on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. and at Grace Lutheran Church in Fairmont, on Monday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. The family requests that contributions to Martha Offutt’s memory be made to Hospice of the Panhandle 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville, WV 25430, the scholarship fund for the Lewis County Quilt Retreat, WV Extension Office, 104 Center Avenue, Weston, WV 26452, or to Prickett’s Fort Memorial Foundation, 88 State Park Road, Fairmont, WV 26554.
Services and interment are private.
Arrangements are by Brown Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be offered at www.BrownFuneralHomesWV.com.