Martha Ellen Linkins, age 85, a longtime resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida, died October 1, 2017, at Somerford Assisted Living in Annapolis, Maryland.
Born on March 2, 1932, in Green Bank, she was one of 10 children born to the late Dr. Luster and Iva Shomo McCutcheon.
After graduating from Green Bank High School as class valedictorian in 1950 she attended Madison College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, earning a degree in Music. Martha was an accomplished piano player and after graduation taught music in the Montgomery County, Maryland schools.
After a brief career as a music teacher, she joined Eastern Airlines as a Flight Attendant, traveling extensively in the United States and the Caribbean.
During one of her flights she met a young engineer from Montreal, Canada, named John Murray, and they eventually wed and moved to Montreal. Their son, Douglas, was born there in 1960.
John and Martha moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland, where Martha became a housewife while raising her son Douglas. Eventually she and John divorced and Martha married Bill Waite, and they lived in Rockville, Maryland. Bill was an avid aviator who owned a single engine aircraft and Martha often accompanied her husband on flying trips. During one of these trips with two neighbors, her husband had a fatal heart attack while at the controls of the aircraft and Martha, without any flight training, miraculously landed the plane at McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey under the guidance of another pilot flying alongside her. Her heroic exploit was featured in the March 1975 issue of Reader’s Digest Magazine.
After Bill’s death Martha became a field inspector for the Government Services Agency (GSA), where she met and married Arthur Linkins of Rochester, New York. Art and Martha lived in Rochester until Art retired from Kodak in 1986 and they then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida.
artha enjoyed many activities during her retirement years including golf, traveling and especially creating many needlepoint tapestries and other artwork. Martha and Art spent many summers in Stowe, Vermont, enjoying the crisp mountain air. She also enjoyed driving her Porsche 924 Turbo.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Doug; husband, Art; brothers Clark, John and Bob; and sisters Marge, Jeanne and Becky.
Martha is survived by her brothers, Leonard “Roose” McCutcheon of Denver, North Carolina, and Al Smith McCutcheon of Tallmadge, Ohio; her sister, Rachel McCutcheon of Annapolis, Maryland; and many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service to honor Martha’s life will be conducted next spring at the family burial plot in Arbovale.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090, www.alz.org.