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Martha L. Kovar

September 11, 1939-October 26, 2019

Martha L. Kovar was born of pioneer stock, in Woodland, California, on Sept. 11, 1939, and died on Oct. 26, 2019, in Brainard.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 1 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Brainard, with visitation at 10 a.m. Memorials may be sent to the family or a charity of your choice.

Martha was the daughter of John Stickney Thompson and Elsie Mulford Thompson. She graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1956, and later in her life attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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She was married to Leopold Kovar on March 24, 1963, in Stockton, California. She was chairman of the Crescent Park Community Council in Richmond, California. The family moved to Philadelphia in 1973 for Martha's job at National Neighbors, an organization serving interracial neighborhoods. She later worked at the Jewish Community Relations Council, and then became the executive director of CLASP (Citizens Local Alliance for a Safer Philadelphia). She was the marketing director for renowned architectural firm Venturi, Rauch, Scott Brown. In 1989, she moved to Nebraska, a state she loved from her first visit, to her husband's family farm. In Nebraska, she worked for the U.S. Census and the David City Chamber of Commerce. She participated in many community activities, including the OWLS club in David City and Write On in Lincoln. Due to an accident, she was wheelchair bound for the last 15 years of her life. She had a sparkling personality, an activist nature, an acute mind, a warm, generous and compassionate disposition. She had a creative spirit and wrote poetry.

She is survived by her husband, Leo Kovar; sister, Patricia Layton (Ed) of Knightsen, California; son, Aaron Tickner of Plumborough, Pennsylvania; three daughters: Yolanda Bailey (Larry) of Brainard, Rebecca Kovar (Scott Benjamin) of Federal Way, Washington, Victoria Grasso (Dan) of Lincoln; niece, Arlene Lillie (Mike) of Michigan; 14 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Druscilla Tickner; a niece, Cath Thompson; and two brothers, John P. and Richard Thompson.

Zabka - Perdue Funeral Home, Dwight, NE

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