Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.
Ms. Martha “Marti” Jane Westmoreland, age 92, of Jonesboro, became a Heavenly Angel and got her wings on April 13, 2020. She slept away peacefully at Sacred Journey Hospice, in McDonough, GA, where her Earthly ‘s on staff took care of her for 13 days while she transitioned. Her family was right by her side, the entire time.
Marti was born in Piedmont, AL on August 15, 1927 to the late Ernest and Mattie Westmoreland. She spent her early years growing up in Alabama as the baby of four girls. At the age of 15, Marti relocated to Cleveland, OH to live with her sister, Ezza B (B), and her brother-in-law, James Alexander, so that she could finish high school. She graduated from John Hay High School in 1944. After high school, Marti and her sister, (B), opened a small business (Jan and Bee Cleaners). Marti married her high school beau, Frederic Forte, and she became the proud mother of two daughters, Joslynn and Robin. After divorcing in 1957, Marti began her career in accounting at a small hardware store in Cleveland, OH (Hough Supply), while raising her two daughters, as a single parent. Marti was a single Mom extraordinaire, as she put both Joslynn and Robin through college, where they both received their Bachelor of Arts Degrees. Marti also made it a point to introduce her daughters to all genres of music,including Opera, piano lessons, travel (family trips), and an appreciation for the arts (visits to Museums). Marti always had a thirst for knowledge throughout her life. She took many college courses and eventually began coursework to become a Court Stenographer, while continuing to work and support her girls. Marti continued her career in Accounting for Sherwin Williams until her eventual retirement in 1989. That same year, Marti moved to Georgia to be closer to her daughters and grandchildren. She lived in Atlanta for a short period. In the early 1990’s, Marti settled in Jonesboro, GA where she enjoyed the remainder of her life.
Marti stayed active throughout her life, in various groups and organizations. While living in Cleveland, Marti was a Leisurette and a member of an Investment Club. She played tennis throughout her life and was involved with Cleveland’s tennis league. She was spiritual and a longtime member of Church of the Incarnation, an Episcopal Church in Atlanta. She was a part of the church’s Hospitality Ministry and participated in social teas and other events. Marti enjoyed the arts . Her hobbies included quilting; baking (Marti’s Sourcream Coffee Cake and tea biscuits); interior decorating; and learning a new word every day. She was passionate about music, particularly Jazz; R & B; and Operatic/Classical Crossover (Andrea Botechelli). Marti even tried her hand at acting. She was an extra on a number of movie sets and she starred in a play at the Atlanta Civic Center. She was an avid reader and she had an interest in politics. Marti was organized and was known to her family as the ‘human computer’. She continuously carried on organizing projects in her home. She had a heart for her pet dogs, Solomon and Cheyenne, and her cat, Patches.
Marti was well-traveled. She was able to visit Canada, Africa (to visit close family-friends), Mexico and The Bahamas. During a family reunion trip to Lausaunne, Switzerland in 1988, Marti accompanied other family members on a 10 day car-excursion throughout Europe. She traveled to a number of cities in Italy (Milan; Florence; Piza; and Venice). Her next stop was Paris, France (Eiffel Tower; Louvre Museum; Palace of Versailles). She went on to visit The Cote d’Azur (French Riviera) including Nice and Monte Carlo. It was a trip of a lifetime. One of Marti’s favorite places to visit, with her family, was Hilton Head, SC. Marti enjoyed walks on the beach, sitting poolside, eating seafood and the joyous sunshine.
Marti was the grandmother (GranMere) to Jazmin, Jordan and Jade. If you were to ask her grands, GranMere was more than a Grandmother. She was active in all aspects of their lives. She was there for school pick-ups; award ceremonies; sporting events; music lessons; science fairs; birthdays; graduations; and of course grandparent’s day at school.
Marti was a beautiful person (inside and out), a loving mother and GranMere. She was personable and loveable to everyone she met. She had the most gorgeous skin (wrinkle-free) and silver gray hair that everyone that she met commented on. She loved the ‘Royal Family’ so often, her family would call her the ‘Queen’. Her most recent moniker is ‘G’.
She was knowledgeable and would often share her words of wisdom with her family. One of Marti’s most intuitive sayings was “if you can accept change, you can accept life”.
She was a generous soul and always willing to help others. Marti was a free spirit. She was nonjudgmental, courageous and had incredible strength. Marti was a ‘Survivor’.
Marti’s family always says that they were Blessed to have her in their lives. She will be forever remembered by her beloved family and friends.
Along with her parents, Marti was preceded in death by her sisters: Ezza B Alexander, Lizzie Maye Westmoreland and Ernest Joy Butler. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law: Joslynn and Joseph Briggs of Fayetteville, Robin and Michael Burrell of Jonesboro; grandchildren: Jazmin, Jordan and Jade Briggs; nieces: Brenda Alexander of Cleveland and Willie Maye Evans of Atlanta; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Sonja Mair says
I’m sure there is great emptiness left by Marti’s passing, but I pray that the love and memories you all shared as a family get you through the difficult times. May that love honor the memories and help you to cherish the great times you all spent together!
With love and sympathy,
John Chapman says
Mrs Westmoreland was a strong, wise wonderful woman. I was lucky to know her and will never forget her. Robin and family: I will keep you in my prayers at this sad time.
Stacey Gaines Jackson says
Grandmere was indeed ‘Royalty’ in my book. Always stood proud and commanded respect without saying a word…I will remember your presence and honor your life. You were a joy to be around. Condolences and love to Joslynn & Robin and family. Hold your heads up because you definitely took care of Grandmere til the end 💞 y’all
Andrea M. Jackson says
Such a light in my life. Full of life… full of love. A beautiful spirit like no other. I will truly miss but never forget her beautiful smile and unconditional acceptance.
I am thankful for the gift of her life touching my life, the favor we have all received to have her in our lives for so many years.
God has custody of the heavenly angel now,
in the Paradise of Perfect Peace.
“PEACE BE STILL”
Shirley Callion says
It was an honor and a pleasure to have met Marti. She had a wonderful personality and we had many good laughs. She raised 2 lovely ladies and they had many memorable times together. When they were together you could feel their love for one another. What a blessing. God Bless
Psalms 147.3. He heals th brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 30: 2. O Lord my God I called yo you for help and you healed me. I pay these words will give you comfort and strength In Jesus name AMen.
Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford says
Jesus: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to!
Joslynn, Robin and your family, I am praying the Lord will comfort you with His peace, surround you in His love, and encourage you with his presence.
Ken Parker says
My Condolences to the family and friends. What a very beautiful tribute for Marti. RIP Marti She was loved and will be missed.
Brenda J. Alexander says
Marti was a fantastic individual and Aunt. She and I were always close. I learned so many things about life from her. When my Mom transitioned she and I be became even closer. I have so many beautiful memories of her and times shared. We were extremely blessed to have had her this long. I will always cherish her in my ,💛.
Virginia Hostler says
Marti was extremely special and loved to her immediate family and her extended family. I know there are many of us that feel this loss. Joslynn, Robin, Joe, Michael, Jazmin, Jordan and Jade in this difficult time may God hold you close to His Heart where he can feel your Deepest Loss and fill you with his Deepest Love
Carole Jones says
My condolences to the family. Your love notes and shared experiences are so beautiful. I am so honored that I had the opportunity to met and talk with your mom. She truly was a beautiful person inside and out.
Melinda C. Williams says
What a wonderful life she lived and a wonderful legacy she left in her family. Robin, all I can hear is you telling me about one of the family vacations and you all did a lot of walking and she was asking everyone if they were ok. That was your girl! Praying for comfort, always.
I never knew Ms “G”, but I’m certain that her beautiful spirit lives on in the many she touched including her daughters, Robin and Joslynn. Robin, who I’ve come to know and LOVE since we started working out together, embodies so many of the attributes used to describe Ms “G”, her influence and presence is undeniable. I’m truly inspired by Ms G’s love of life and its wonders. Thank you for sharing her “LIGHT” with me. I’ll do my best to make sure it continues to shine.
-Ihsan and Family-
Joyce Simmons says
Praise God! Heaven has received a “Queen👑” indeed! What an Awesome and loving glimpse of a wonder life well lived!
I thank God for the privilege to have met and known her. Here’s My most fondest memory of her. I was at the Briggs Estate preparing for one of their glorious events when Mrs. Marti (GranMere) offered to take my young daughter Nundai out by the poolside….of course I was a lil’ alarmed since she wasn’t an experienced swimmer and I told her to just sit safely on the side. Nevertheless, Mother Marti sort of gave me that sweet never🙄 mind you look & smoothly walked off …
Well 🤷🏽♂️ Low & behold, what I 🤔thought was just a waddling of her feet in the pool turned out to be a full fledged “GranMere” 🏊🏽♀️swimming lesson😳YES! to my total surprise ..Just like that, she taught her to swim like a seasoned athlete! 😊We are forever grateful for the life saving lesson she rendered out of love💕 to my Nundai❗️I now know that she’s handling things her sweet way, while forever, “Living Her Best Heavenly😇 Life”❣️ Our thoughts and 🙏🏾prayers are with Y’all. 😘
Em McNair says
May the fond memories that you have of your mother be a source of comfort to you now and the years to come.
I had the opportunity to meet the Queen, Ms. Marti, through her daughters. You can see how wonderful a lady she was because her daughters represent her so well. As long as I have known the family they were three peas in a pod. She made the world a better place and her daughters will not doubt continue her great legacy. Rest in heavenly peace QUEEN!
Lulu Howard says
I will never forget Ms. Marti, words of wisdom she shared with me at Joe and Joslynn home.. She was a very Elegant and Classy lady. Peace love ❤️ I!
Wings in heaven ….
Ena Harris says
Martha was always the beautiful, quiet, pensive one. I remember her well at the family reunions, especially the one on Switzerland. Her beauty and grace live on. Love never ends.
Cindy Abbott says
Robin–My prayers are with you and your family. Your mother was a lovely person
Angela Bryant says
Robin, the Grace & Strength of your beautiful mother continues in you. I pray comfort over your entire family & PRAISE GOD even now for the Angel he shared with us for a season. PRICELESS! Peace & Love Be Yours.
Ida Boler Tate says
Robin, it always brought a great amount of joy to me when I greeted Marti and she responded with her contagious loving smile. She was special to me and many beyond. Thank you for sharing her. I send hugs to help comfort you now❤🙏🏼.
Eloise Roberts says
May she RIP!
My condolence to the family!
Marti,I feel honored to have met you and participate in taking care of you.
She was the “queen”,you will always live in our hearts❤❤!
God has gotten a beautiful 😇.
Corliss Simmons says
She touch my spirit an my heart so please to have known her so special 💜💜💜💜💜 corliss cory Simmons
Victor M Rosario says
What I remember most was her Smile.
Al Cousins says
I just wanted to express my deepest sympathy to you and family.
💐 Tenderly, may time heal your sorrow. Gently, may friends ease your pain. Softly, may peace replace heartaches. And may warmest memories remain. 💐
Dawn Moody says
That was a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. In my encounters with GranMere she always carried herself with confidence and strength. Her style was impeccable and she was always sharp! She would always inquire about how things were going with you. I admired how she was always there for her daughters and embraced her extended family as her own. My deepest sympathy to Aunt Jocelyn, Robin, Uncle Joe, my cousins and the entire Westmoreland family and everyone whose life she impacted. She will be missed. ❤
I am deeply sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in God’s promise at Acts 24:15: “And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” Our caring God will give you strength to cope with your grief.
Madelyn M Callion says
As Mother’s Day approaches, my thoughts & heart just naturally gravitate to Marti. While I am saddened knowing I won’t be blessed by her presence again on earth, there is a light she left that won’t ever be extinguished! In happier times, her smile & presence lit up the room. Marti was among the most lovely, both inside & out- so funny & fun, wise & compassionate with a gorgeous exterior! AND, she could HANG!!! 🙂 No need to worry about her keeping up.! So as this 1st Mother’s Day without Marti approaches, I’d like to say to Marti that I love her and will NEVER FORGET her &
her kindness towards me personally. Robin, Joslynn and my Briggs family, thank you for sharing your extraordinary Mother & GranMere with the rest of us- it has truly been a blessing.
Denise Chappelle says
Robin, Jocelyn and family I am deeply sorry for your loss, may you find comfort. A wonderful tribute. My prayer are with you and your family.
Phillip R Bailey says
…my Other Mother! As a young boy, Marti always gave my the straight talk, no chaser!
The Fortes’ were a buffer for me and gave me much love. She was instrumental in my character development, my appreciation and love for women. I have so much respect for you, Martha! Always of my heart…peace be unto you, Sister
Lynda Gill says
I was saddened to hear of your lovely mother’s passing. The few times that I was with her, I recognized that she was regal, stately, and dignified. Reading her obituary, I understand that she was revolutionary in her time and her influence in your lives can never be replaced. God is the healer and memories are the medicine. We send our condolences and may our prayers help comfort you.
Vicki Goldston says
My love and blessings go out to all of you.
Marti was a dynamic but whimsical spirit that exhibited nothing but love. I witnessed the constant joy she found with family, and I feel so blessed to have experienced her essence. May you all continue to feel her presence, an abundant legacy. Ase,’