Martha Elizabeth (Bennard) Warberg

Born: Wed., Nov. 14, 1928
Died: Sun., Dec. 27, 2020


Family to do services at later date


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Martha Warberg died Sunday, December 27 in a local care facility.  She was 92 years old.  Those who knew her were aware of her musical talent, her sense of humor, and the fact that she taught music in Pendleton for over 30 years.

Martha was born to parents Walter and Cressie Bennard on November 14, 1928 in Portland, Oregon.  She grew up in the Northeast side of Portland and attended school there, graduating from Jefferson High School in 1947.  During her high school years she played violin for the Portland Youth Philharmonic, traveling by street car to and from rehearsals and concerts.

Entering Willamette College (now University) in 1947 as a music major, Martha was active in all things music on campus.  She received a Bachelor of Music in Education in June of 1951.  In the summer of that same year she was married to Robert White, a student athlete she met at Willamette.

The couple settled in Pendleton, Oregon in 1954 and both taught for the Pendleton School District.  Martha taught in the string program and Bob taught History at Pendleton High School and coached the Baseball team.  He was also the assistant coach for the high school football team.  They had three children: Patrick, Jodi and Jon.  Bob was diagnosed with cancer and Martha took a leave of absence to care for him until his death in 1967.  With his passing Martha returned to the work force, teaching elementary general music.

In 1967 Martha was married to Dale Warberg.  During those years Martha was active in music, playing in orchestras in La Grande, Walla Walla and the Tri Cities.  She was a founder of the Oregon East Symphony and played viola with them as well.

Martha composed music for her elementary students, the Pendleton High School A Cappella Choir, and the Oregon East Symphony Chorale.

She spent her summers in Eugene, working on her Master’s Degree in Music Education finally graduating in the summer of 1976.  While she worked on her degree, each of those summers she played viola in the prestigious Bach Music Festival Orchestra at the University of Oregon.

In 1986 Martha retired and applied her energies to the Oregon East Symphony Guild.  She was also a member of Delphian.

Martha is preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Cressie Bennard, her husband Robert White, her second husband Dale Warberg, her daughter Jodi White, her sisters Marion and Peggy and her brother, Jim.

She is survived by her sons, Patrick White, Jon White (Rena), step-daughter, Tracie Holladay, 5 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

The family will announce a gathering at a later date.  Those who wish to make a donation in Martha’s memory are encouraged to donate to the Oregon East Symphony, P.O. Box 1436, Pendleton, Oregon 97801.

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