Londonderry, NH — Persis C. “Mitch” (Hicks) Martin of Londonderry, N.H., a dedicated nurse, multi-talented musician, composer, dancer, poet, and the matriarch of a large extended family, passed away at the age of 87 on Feb. 26 in Nashua, N.H., following a brief illness.
The youngest of four children born to Thomas M. B. and Mildred (Todd) Hicks, Mrs. Martin was born in Brownsville, Texas, on July 5, 1926, but spent much of her childhood in Kingston, Pa., graduating from Kingston High School in 1944. After attending Ohio Wesleyan University, she danced professionally in New York before marrying her first husband, Charles R. Scoggins, Sr., a career Air Force officer. A master of several musical instruments and often self-taught, she taught ballet and tap dancing and also composed liturgical music. She produced and directed the opera “Patience” at Rikkyo University in Tokyo while living in Japan in the late 1950s and while living in Chelmsford, Mass., during the 1960s wrote the original songs, choreographed, produced, directed, and acted in the popular town variety show, “The Chelmsford Follies.” She also directed the local Miss Massachusetts Pageant during that time and was the organist and choir director at All Saints Episcopal Church in Chelmsford.
After moving to California and then to Maryland in the late 1960s, she graduated with high honors from Prince George’s (Md.) Community College with a degree in nursing in 1973. She worked in ICU at Prince George’s County Hospital and after relocating to Hampstead, N.H., in the mid-1970s worked at Hampstead Hospital and Parkland Hospital in Derry before becoming director of nursing at Salem Haven in Salem, N.H., where she also played the organ at chapel services. While living in Hampstead she directed a number of variety shows for the Lions Club and was also an avid ham radio hobbyist with the call sign KA1TRP. A lung cancer survivor, she participated in the annual CROP walks. Following her retirement, she married the late Rev. Walter “Doc” Martin, the chaplain at Salem Haven, and was an active member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Nashua, N.H., until her death.