Martha Ann Newman, née Cessna, 76, of Punxsutawney, formerly of Aurora, Colorado, passed away on Jan. 20, 2019 at Christ the King Manor in DuBois. She was born on May 14, 1942, in Punxsutawney, daughter of the late Wayne C. and Susan P. (Labik) Cessna Sr. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband, John A. Newman, in 2015 and her sister, Ruth M. Cessna in 2001
Martha graduated from Punxsutawney Area High School in 1960, after which she served a distinguished military career with the U.S. Air Force. She was assigned to various positions in personnel administration and support to include such activities as the AF Intelligence and Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Branch within the Pentagon. She served at various Air Force Commands and activities at bases, both within the United States and at Ramstein AFB in Germany. Her military career included a tour with the US Military Assistance Command headquarters in Tan Son Nhut Air base in Saigon, South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. Martha retired with 20 years of service from the Air Force operations and personnel command in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., in 1971 as a Master Sergeant. She received numerous medals and accommodations for her excellent performance of duties during her service. God, country, and family meant everything to Martha.
She attended St. Therese Catholic Church in Aurora, Colorado, attending daily Mass for many years, before returning to Punxsutawney in April 2018, where she attended and was a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church.
Surviving are five brothers: Wayne C. (Mary Ann) Cessna of Indiana, Pa., David A. (Sang) Cessna of Petersburg, Virginia, Andrew James (Suzanne) Cessna of Shelocta, Pa., John E. (Sharon) Cessna of Punxsutawney and Raymond G. (Joan) of Summerville. She is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews and cousins. Many church friends and neighbors in Colorado lovingly cared for Martha for several years.
Family and friends were received on the evening of Thursday, January 24, 2019, at the McCabe Funeral Home in Punxsutawney, where a Parastas was held. A Panichida service was held on the morning of Friday, January 25, 2019, at the funeral home, followed by a Divine Liturgy at Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, with the Rev. Fr. Vasyl Kadar as Celebrant. Military honors were accorded by the Jefferson County Honor Guard immediately following Mass. Private interment was in the Peter and Paul Byzantine Cemetery in Anita.
Donations in memory of Martha may be made to Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, 714 Sutton St., Punxsutawney, PA 15767, or the American Cancer Society, P. O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123. Online condolences may be made at mccabefuneralhomespa.com.
From The Punxsutawney Spirit, January 22, 2019.