Martha Backman


Martha Louise Backman, 70, of Puget Island, died at her home on July 10. She was born to Clair and Wanda (Parsley) Clark on July 11, 1950 in Longview. Her stepfather was Guy Johnson. She lived in Wahkiakum County all her life, growing up in Skamokawa. She married Gary Backman on December 12, 1970. Martha was a lifelong fisherman and began fishing at the age of 11, only missing four seasons, two to have her children and two because of illness. She worked hard at many jobs in her life including as a prep cook for Janet Bryan at Janet’s Deli, The Riverview, The Ranch House and The Junction. She loved working alongside Gary on their farm and bottle feeding the calves. She donated beef for several local fundraisers over the years. She was a generous volunteer of her time in the community and was always willing to help. She drove the Assembly of God church van as a volunteer. She was a member of the Grange, Wahkiakum Lions Club and the Wahkiakum Fair Board. She will be honored this year at the Fair for her many years of service. The Fair had a special place in her heart and she enjoyed raising money for the fair by starting Turkey Bingo and Easter Bingo fundraisers.

Martha is survived by her son Gary Michael Backman, Jr (Carrie), her daughter, Cheryl Backman (Jason Montgomery), two sisters Marilyn Wilt and Jackie Keller, three brothers, Willie Johnson, Bob Johnson and Mike Clark, and numerous extended family members whom Martha loved.

She was preceded in death by her husband Gary Backman on July 2 and her sister Margaret Whittle.

A celebration of her life will be held on Thursday August 12 at 11 a.m., at JA Wendt Elementary School in Cathlamet. Following a graveside service at Greenwood Cemetery there will be a luncheon at The Norse Hall on Puget Island. Dowling Funeral Home of Cathlamet is in charge of arrangements.


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