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.
She is survived by her six natural children, Charles R. Scoggins, Jr. and his wife, Victoria, of Lowell, Mass., and St. Petersburg, Fla., Richard T. Scoggins and his wife, Cathy, of Glendale, Calif., Wendy E. Elliott and her husband, David, of Jaffrey, N.H., Kim C. Scoggins and his wife, Deborah, of Bluffton, S.C., Erin M. Scoggins of Port Orange, Fla., and Colin S. Scoggins and his wife, Helene, of Nashua, N.H.; three stepchildren, Virginia Jennings and her husband, Gregory, of Acworth, Ga., and Peggy Wilkinson and her husband, Joe, of Somerset, Ohio, and David Mitchell and his wife, Tina, of Oreland, Pa.; 16 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren as well as a multitude of nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister, Barbara Harding of Sterling, Va., and her first husband, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Charles R. Scoggins, Sr., of Edgewater, Fla., and Jaffrey, as well as Rev. Martin’s daughters, Judy Smith of Bridgewater, N.H., and Eleanor Gilder of Port Washington, N.Y. Mrs. Martin was preceded into the hereafter by her brothers, Thomas Hicks IV and Warren Hicks; her second husband, Maj. (Ret.) Wallace Mitchell; and her stepson, John Mitchell.
Calling hours will be on Thursday, March 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 290 Mammoth Road, Londonderry. Funeral services will be Friday at 10 a.m. in Christ the King Lutheran Church, 3 Lutheran Drive, Nashua. Burial will be in the spring in Conant Cemetery, Jaffrey, N.H. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations: Pastoral Care at Salem Haven, 23 Geremonty Drive, Salem, NH 03079, Church World Service CROP WALK, New York Corporate Center, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 700, New York, NY 01015 or ELCA World Hunger, 1725 I St., NW, Suite 510 Washington, DC 20006. To send a condolence or for more information, please visit www.peabodyfuneralhome.com.