Meet the original Martha Stewart

By Jodi Stewart

Guest columnist

Martha Stewart represents home and hearth.

She served her country in World War II as a commissioned Naval officer as part of the Nursing Corp. She’s famous for making lefse, a round Norwegian flatbread with a potato-based dough, baked on a griddle. Perhaps someone caught sight of her roller-skating on 38th Street in Lubbock with her firstborn son before moving to Clovis in 1954?

Meet the original Martha Stewart.

Martha Elaine Blide Stewart’s grandparents were part of the great Norwegian and Swedish migration flowing to the USA in the mid-to-late 1800s. The immigrants had a rock-firm determination to ground out a living in America, a land they knew offered religious and political freedom as well as unprecedented opportunities.

Stewart’s family settled in Hallock, Minn., 19 miles south of the Canadian border near the Red River of the north. Her childhood glittered with warm traditions and sugary memories that could have leaped from a Thomas Kinkaid painting. Fun and work melted together in seasons of skating, skiing, song gatherings, gardening, ballgames and Christmas holidays so rich with camaraderie and worship they remain as real to Stewart today as when they occurred.

Stewart married Ernest O. “Doc” Stewart after WWII. Together, they chiseled their mark on eastern New Mexico as entrepreneurs (Doc Stewart Chevrolet and Buick dealership), as tireless church workers and by assisting and mentoring the men, women and officers of Cannon Air Force Base.

Martha Stewart’s hospitality and meals are still legendary in the halls of Cannon. An invitation to her table was considered a coveted prize.

Besides raising four active sons, Stewart served as a Southern Baptist approved state nursery worker for First Baptist Church of Clovis and Sandia Baptist Church for many years.

German author and poet Christian Morgenstern said a house is made of walls and beams — a home is built with love and dreams. The original Martha Stewart built a home and decorated it with love that saturates the hearts of all those she has touched in her lifetime.

She is celebrating a quiet 90th birthday at home this weekend surrounded by her sons John, Kit, Bobby Jack and Mark, as well as her daughters-in-law and many of her seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.