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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Brigit Farley
   Posted Wed December 30, 2020
An excellent musician and music teacher. She taught a lot of young violinists and viola players in the l960s and 70s. May she rest in peace.

Dawn Wallulis
   Posted Fri January 08, 2021
Even though I am devoid of any musical ability, the days Mrs. Warberg rolled her piano into our classrooms at Sherwood Heights are some of my fondest elementary school memories.

John Pedro
   Posted Sat January 09, 2021
I am saddened to learn of Martha's passing. She taught me violin for about 2 years in 1964-65 when she and Bob lived on NW 5th. I remember Patrick, Jon and Jodi ("Mrs Murphy") playing downstairs while she taught students. I was touched when she attended our Oregon Mandolin Orchestra concert at the Vert about 5 years ago. I will always be grateful for her guidance and help.

   Posted Sun January 10, 2021
I too remember mrs warberg but with the little xylophones and playing ta ta tee tee ta
Another great memory from a long ago day
My sincerest condolences to the family
Prayers and thoughts for you all

Christine Henson Woodard
   Posted Mon January 11, 2021
Martha started me on violin when I was in 4th grade, and she was a dear friend to my mother, Wanda Henson. Mom, Martha, and I used to visit often when I came to Pendleton, and her sense of humor was amazing. I got to play "May I" with her and other friends and felt like a real grownup because I was playing cards with my former teachers. I hope she is playing cards with everyone in heaven!

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