Mary Josephine Martin enjoyed meeting new people, so working at local markets was her social paradise.
"If my mother met you, inside an hour, she would know your children's name, your grandchildren's name, where they went to school, the things you like to do," said her daughter, Lois Martin of New York City. "She really was outgoing. People loved her."
Mary Martin, affectionately called "Aunt Jo," died of natural causes Tuesday at York Hospital. She was 91.
She also leaves another daughter, Brenda Martin of New Orleans, as well as her main caretakers, Dawn and Morgan Glessner, her niece and nephew-in-law, of Weigelstown.
'Fantastic lady': Mary Martin and her husband, the late John Martin — who died in 1991— owned a turkey farm in West Manchester Township for more than 50 years.
Since the time she was a child until she was close to 80, Mary Martin was a produce and baked goods vendor at Farmer's, Central and Eastern markets. She also sold Martin's Potato Chips. Mary Martin's husband and Harry Martin — the chip company's founder — were brothers, Lois Martin said.
She said her mother was concerned about her regular customers and even called them when she missed seeing them at the markets.
"She was really kind and really generous," Lois Martin said. "She could make you feel good. She put some sparkle into your life no matter what you were going through. She was kind of an angel."
Mary Martin also was an active member of St. Paul (Wolf's) Evangelical Covenant Church in West Manchester Township, where she served on the consistory and on various committees. She also helped coordinate the church's annual picnics and led Bible studies at her home, said Nancy Schrum, a St. Paul member for more than 50 years.
"She would just give everything she had," said Schrum, 71, of West Manchester Township. "She was busy with her turkey farm, but she was never too busy for the church. She loved the church. She was a fantastic lady."
Aunt Jo: Dawn Glessner, 69, said her Aunt Jo was like a second mother to her. They were York Hospital volunteers, called Cherry Reds, during the 1950s. Dawn Glessner said she also went to the markets with Mary Martin and saw how much her aunt loved people.
"She was a gracious and outgoing person who welcomed everyone into her home," she said. "You don't run into too many people who don't know her."
Morgan Glessner, 69, said he remembers how Mary Martin had him delivering turkeys after he started dating her niece. Mary Martin could relate to people from all walks of life, he said.
"She made you feel important," Morgan Glessner said. "She was a good person. We'll miss her. It was great knowing her."
—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.