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Martha DeBruler Von der Lehr

October 2, 2017

Martha Von der Lehr, 94, passed away peacefully Oct. 2, 2017, at Emerald Coast Center, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Born Nov. 7, 1922 in Glasgow, Scotland to George and Matilda Pollock, she came to America inApril 1946 as one of 35,000 British war brides, having met and married Robert L. DeBruler on Aug. 4, 1944, at Hemel Hempsteed, England.

They brought three daughters, Pamela, Linda and Denise, into the world. At the time of her passing, her family grew to include seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, three stepchildren and stepgrandchildren.

After arriving in Rochester, Martha settled into homemaking. Her husband became associated with the Lockridge photography studio in 1946, assumed part ownership several years later, then full ownership in 1967 when it was renamed DeBruler Studios.

Robert’s untimely early death two years later left Martha, whose only job had been in an aircraft insulation factory during World War II, to assume the business. She learned to drive, went to photography school and successfully ran the studio, recording the important events of her clients’ lives until 1982.

As a mother, she was a Brownie Scout leader and always there to help. A member of First Presbyterian Church, she sang in the choir. She enjoyed bowling, dancing, cruising Lake Manitou on the pontoon and was an avid Bridge player. She joined Tri Kappa sorority and then became a charter member of its Beta Mu associate chapter. She also held memberships in the American Legion auxiliary, Eagles auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Moose and Elks lodges.

In 1998 Martha married Dr. William Von der Lehr in Rochester, who survives.

They wintered in Florida until establishing full-time residency in Fort Walton Beach in 2012.

Martha and Bill traveled extensively, from the east to west United States’ coasts and in Europe, where she enjoyed visiting with her extended family in England and Scotland. A social butterfly, wherever she went she established and kept new friendships. She was a consummate entertainer.

Martha could be found every day in the kitchen. She created extravagant meals for two or 50. Friends became acquainted with the simple food of her homeland, including potato kugeli and Scottish shortbread and family members sat down to prime rib dinners with Yorkshire pudding at holiday parties she planned with delight.

She also is survived by her daughters, Pamela and husband Bob Napier, Denise and companion Bill Mulvaney, all of Rochester, and Linda and husband Roy Simpson, Greensburg; grandchildren and their spouses Kellette Lease and Bob, Rochester, Kristin Wolfe and Paul, Osgood, Kymberly Bausback and Aaron, Greensburg, Jennifer Hellmich and Jim, Pickerington, Ohio, Jason Simpson and Heather, Greensburg, Shelby Sisinger and Samantha Sisinger, Rochester; great-grandchildren Meghan McLochlin and husband Kyle, Mallory Smith and husband Mike, Lauren Mitchell, Kayleigh Jenkins, Karlee Wolfe, Kate, Abigail and Benjamin Bausback, Morgan, Evan and Adam Hellmich,  Kiley and Logan Simpson; great-great-grandchildren Mason and Maddox McLochlin and Hudson and Mosley Smith; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. She also is survived by her stepchildren Beth Von der Lehr Duet, Lori Von der Lehr and John Von der Lehr and their children.

She was preceded in death by her husband Robert, her second husband Floyd Swain, brothers Robert and Albert Pollock and sister Tillie Pollock Smith.

A private family graveside service will be conducted by Dr. David Detamore Nov. 7, 2017. Arrangements are by Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home. She will be buried at Rochester IOOF cemetery alongside her family members. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation or the charity of one’s choice.


 Service Information

Private Interment

Odd Fellows Cemetery
620 W. 3rd Street
Rochester, Indiana 46975

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