Martha Schade Drebes

Martha Schade Drebes

Martha Schade Drebes joined our Lord in the Glory of Heaven on Jan. 30, 2019. 

She was born Oct. 6 in the year 1937, the daughter of Louis Fredrick Schade and Elizabeth Fredericka Hoehne at home, and was the youngest of their four children, Robert (Norma), Lucille (Maurice) Watters and Carol (Spencer) Woodall.

Martha excelled in the Palmyra school system.  She was a cheerleader, the valedictorian of her senior class and another proud member of the “Snotty Six”.

On Sept. 23, 1956, Martha married her life time, loving partner, Leon Edward Drebes.  He survives but will miss her deeply. They have two children, Jan Drebes Fels (Joseph) and Michael Edward Drebes (Kell). Martha was a wonderful mother to them and was active in the community and church.  She was involved with scouting (both Girl and Boy), Fabius 4-H and summer sports.  Fifty years ago, the family fully enjoyed the Palmyra sesquicentennial activities.  Martha and Leon were early members of the Palmyra Booster Club and started the ‘shake-up-lemonade’ stand during the Marion County Fair. 

On the farm, where she and her husband lived most of their married life, Martha was a terrific help-mate to Leon. She opened gates, worked cattle, gardened and took him tea and snacks while he was in the field. After they froze enough sweet corn for their family, they were happy to share. 

Martha was active in the Zion Lutheran Church. She and Leon were the “middle” generation to have been married there. She was active in the Lutheran Ladies Aid, the Altar Committee and The Zion Quilters and helped with the bereavement meals.

 Martha was an awesome, fun grandma to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Ann and Joseph Fels, Jeneta, Jacob and Joseph Drebes, Brittany (Ryan) Hinds, Brooke (Justin) Nelson, Kelcee Pyse and their children.  No one went hungry at her home.

Martha did not have many rules at her house, just filled it with love, laughter and food.  She did not allow caps to be worn inside or paper plates to be eaten from.

Martha and Leon did not travel the world, they traveled with their world, from the trips to Las Vegas and a crazy trip to D.C., to the many jaunts they took with Carol and Spencer.  Between antiquing and site seeing (Y2K with full bathtubs and singing happy birthday in a crowd of strangers), it was good when they had cell phones to keep in touch. The drivers changed with the time of day.

Martha continued to serve her community by delivering ‘Meals on Wheels’ and serving as an election judge until recent years.

A wonderful hobby she and Leon shared was collecting and using Fiesta dishes. They started married life with a set and have used them at every meal. If there was a crowd for a meal, Martha would just send someone downstairs for more plates. They traveled to auctions and conferences to gather more and more pieces and meet and visit with other collectors.

Martha was an outstanding quilter and piecer. Her points meet, the curves are smooth and stitches were well made and uniform. She was very sure of the way a quilt should be bound, and it is not the easy way. We can look at her pile of quilts and tell which ones she bound. 

Martha will be especially missed by her husband, Leon;  sister, Carol; sister-in-law, Norma; and brother-in-law, Maurice. She is succeeded by her children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, Dale and Madonna Watters, Marcia (Watters), Kent and Doug Bross, Cynthia, Jeffery, Dawn and Spencer Woodall. As she wanted, the children and grandchildren, and extended family and friends, will remember her home as a good place without sickness and death.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents, Louis and Elizabeth; her brother, Robert; her sister, Lucille; her brother-in-law; Spencer and a great-grandson, JC.

Graveside services and burial will be at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, at Greenwood Cemetery in Palmyra, Mo.

A celebration of life gathering of family and friends will be from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Sesquicentennial Building in Palmyra. 

In lieu of flowers Martha requested that memorials be made to the Zion Lutheran Church, St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Palmyra Nutritional Center.

Online condolences may be made and video tributes viewed at

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