PRESQUE ISLE – Martha (Powers) Marston, a pioneering businesswoman and civic leader in Presque Isle passed away peacefully Sept. 8, 2013, days after celebrating her 89th birthday with family and friends.
Martha was born on August 27, 1924, in East Chapman to Mary (Beaulieu) and Patrick Powers, the youngest child and only girl of seven. Her brothers – Thomas, Louis, Justin, Edmund, James, and Peter – and she all studied in the one-room schoolhouse in East Chapman. She went on to complete high school at St. Agatha’s convent.
Martha initially worked at the Base, then in Connecticut, and then back here for the potato industry. She met and married Russell Marston, and after being widowed bought a local card/book store and the media wholesale distributor business for Aroostook County. She was one of the first women to own and run a business on Main Street and quickly built it into a success, running two stores and a countywide book and newspaper distributor. Her thriving Hallmark cards and gifts business was a focal point for the community for many years. Her entrepreneurship provided jobs to veterans, family members, as well as community members for nearly 50 years.
Martha was a very engaged civic leader and committed to improving her community. She was a leader in the Main Street beautification committee, a passionate member of the school board, and a leading voice for the Housing Authority among other endeavors.
Martha is survived by her daughter, Pamela Marston (Upadhyaya) and her son-in-law, Punya Upadhyaya; two sisters-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.
There will be a memorial reception held 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the NorthEastland Hotel on Main Street. Those who wish may make donations to the fund named for her nephews – the Dale and Christopher Powers Scholarship Fund, care of Northern Maine Community College, 33 Edgemont Drive, Presque Isle, ME 04769, in lieu of flowers.