Martha Jane Peters was born February 8, 1923
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Her place of birth was Trinidad West Indies.
The village she grew up in was names Matelot (Mat-Lot )
Her playground was the Caribbean Sea.
Martha was an excellent swimmer and would swim in the ocean until she was 80 years old.
Martha’s parents John Francis Salvary and Saverine Salvary were landowners, they made a living selling Cocoa and coffee that grew on the estate.
The men in the village went fishing every day
The women grew fruits and vegetables
She often said that growing up eating fruits vegetables and fish with very little chicken and no beef was the reason she was so strong.
Martha was never hospitalized from the years 1955 through 2017. She only went in 1955 to give birth to her daughter Brenda.
Martha’s story reflected a happy childhood
In Trinidad 1923-1949. Children walked miles to go to school in the hot sun.
Martha enjoyed learning and she said the children never complained about school
Martha had 5 siblings and they were her playmates.
At home her father John Frances read passages from books that were popular at that time
Martha called the names of her mother and father (mamma and papa) every day until the day she left this earth.
Martha married Eric Peters on November 3, 1945 in Port of Spain,Trinidad.
In 1947 Martha and Eric emigrated to the United States, they lived in the Bronx with Eric’s family
Their daughter Bernadette Marie was born in 1950.
Their daughter. Brenda Marie was born in 1950 by that time they moved to Queens
Eric had a son named Clem who was born on the Island of St. Vincent prior to his marriage to Martha,
When Clem emigrated to The United States he met his step-mother Martha and his two sisters who were small children at the time they met.
The relationship between Clem, Eric, Martha, Bernadette, and Brenda was so close that when Clem married Arlene and had children he brought his children Nigel, Cherise and Nkenge to Martha so that Martha could take care of them every day and sometimes weekends while Clem and Arlene attended college and worked full time jobs.
Martha sponsored for U.S. citizenship her mother Saverine, her sister May and May's 4 children between the years 1961-1964. It was required that the sponsor provide a place to live along with food.
Eric took on 2 full time jobs. By day for the Archdiocese of New York at Holy Cross School and at night for the New York City Police Department at the 105 pct. in Queens. On Saturday Eric waxed the floors of Weinstein travel agency in Queens, and the law offices of J. Savris on Parsons boulevard. His jobs led to free Catholic school education for his daughters, niece and nephews, and later on jobs at St. Vincent’s Hospital. This type of story was quite normal for West Indian immigrants in the 1960’s. All families and in-laws took care of each other. Martha took care of many children of immigrants and other relatives. She was no nonsense feed the children on time and teach the manners type person.
Martha’s daughter Bernadette graduated with honors from Fordham University in New York. Bernadette moved to California in 1973 with her husband Butch and her son Keir.
In 1980 daughter Brenda Marie was hired as a Flight Attendant with American Airlines and because of the generous travel benefits Martha and Eric visited California, the Caribbean Islands. Martha later visited religious shrines in Lourdes, France and Columbia, South America.
Eric died in a car accident in 1990, a few years before Eric died Martha decided to see work as a nanny. She was Employed by Judge Megan Tallmer and cared for her 4 children. Martha retired when she was 80 years old in her early stages of dementia. Martha thought she still worked for Megan and would look for “the boys”. Megan returned to her life 2 years ago and was instrumental in guiding the family through the mountain of paperwork required by the nursing facility where Martha resided.
Between the ages of 80-93 Martha traveled with Clem, Bunny, and Brenda. Martha loved the Ocean so
they took short trips to Atlantic City. During the summer she visited California, and after attending a wedding at sea took many sailings on Norwegian Cruise Lines. She sat on the balcony and enjoyed the ocean breeze; she said it reminded her of her childhood.
During the year 2013 Martha started to fade, her mind was sound but her walking was not steady.
By the year 2014 her mind was still sound but she took a huge fall at home. It was at that time Brenda hired Suzanne Greene to look after Martha while Brenda worked flights to South America.
To everyone’s surprise Martha formed a bond with Suzanne and her husband Louis, she said that Louis reminded her of Eric. Often Louis came along with Suzanne to look after mom.
Suzanne was instrumental in helping Mom stay healthy for 3 years.
July 2017 Martha was admitted to hospital because she refused to eat or drink for over 3 days. She hid the food in the chairs, under her pillow, behind books, under the sofa & she pretended to drink fluids.
When the EMT arrived at the house her blood pressure was over 200 and she would not stop crying
Her personal physician said that Martha could no longer be cared for at home and her Doctor arranged for her to be admitted to Bedford Center Nursing Facility where she lost her battle with Dementia.
From August 3, 2017 until the day before she died Martha was visited by her daughter and also other family members in particular the 2 Nephews that she and Eric brought to America, Neil (Tony), and Leon. Her sister Uris, cousin Sharon, and Clem’s children Nigel and Cherise. She could not recognize faces anymore but somehow she would tell Brenda that she had a visitor. At the end she did not recognize Brenda,and refused to eat. When Brenda last saw her she asked for her daughter Bunny because Brenda told her that Bunny was on her way to New York, but her heart stopped. And she stopped breathing and she left this world for a better place.
The words you hear today were Martha’s words as told to her daughter Brenda. Martha wanted to talk about her journey from Trinidad in 1947 to her beloved America. Martha was so grateful to celebrate her 95th birthday last February. During her last 3 weeks the last stage of Dementia took over.
Martha Jane Peters was laid to rest on the birthday of her daughter Brenda January 4, 2019.
Martha pre-planned every aspect of her Funeral and Burial. It was her wish to keep it small and simple with those she loved in attendance.
Martha Jane Peters will never ever be forgotten, she will always be loved.
Eric and Martha Jane Peters are buried at Cypress Hills Cemetery Queens, NY
Many thanks to the Family that owns Hillebrand Funeral Homes.
2 years ago we started to plan for this day. Thank you Tara, Teddy, and Brendan for your professionalism, compassion, and kindness; Your work was above and beyond our expectations.
The Family of Martha Jane Peters