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Community reacts to loss of beloved teacher

Pittsboro Ind. (WISH) – A community in Hendricks County mourns the loss of a beloved teacher and leader.

75-year-old Doris Martin lost her life after falling into a swollen drainage ditch and drowned. Her husband tried to save her but couldn’t hold on.

On Thursday, friends and family said she was a special person and the people who knew her best, like Julie Mardis the Pittsboro United Methodist Church office manager, describe her as a saint.

“She taught Sunday school, she was in charge of funeral dinners, she was a school teacher with the one room school house,” Mardis said.

It’s hard for friends and family of Doris Martin to find the words to best remember what she meant to her church and her community. The phone was ringing off the hook of people calling to find out more information.

The 75-year-old grandmother was trying to clear debris away from the drainage ditch in front of her home when she fell in. The current was so strong she was swept more than half a mile away.

“This is a terrible tragedy and she was a person in the community that many people really loved,” said Pittsboro Fire Chief Bill Zeunik. “So there are more than just the family that are upset by this loss.”

Martin was the chairperson of a Scholarship she founded and helped dozens of students pay for college.

Pastor Dave Buckner can’t remember a time when Doris wasn’t a part of the church.

“There’s not a person that I know like Doris,” Buckner said.  “She gave and gave and gave, she’s 75 years old and I don’t know people half her age that gave as much as she did.”

Pastor Buckner says the only thing they can do is mourn and try to live like Doris.

“One young lady said who are going to be the Doris’ when she’s gone because she did everything,” Buckner said. “So we say who is going to be the Doris now? Who is going to step up and pick up the ball and keep going?”

Funeral services have not been arranged yet. Martin leaves behind her husband Ernie, two children and four grandchildren.