Martha J. (Carr) Choitz

Born: Fri., Aug. 29, 1924
Died: Sun., Apr. 17, 2016


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Thu., Apr. 21, 2016
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

Funeral Service

1:00 PM Fri., Apr. 22, 2016
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

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Music by The Piano Brothers

 Martha J. Choitz

Aug. 29, 1924 - April 17, 2016

SOUTH BEND - Martha J. Choitz died peacefully at home on April 17, 2016. She was born Martha Joan Carr on August 29, 1924, in South Bend, Indiana, to Etta V. Darling Carr and Clyde N. Carr. In 1942 she graduated from Central High School. She began working as a bookkeeper for Everett Ridge at the Ridge Company where she met Alfred H. Choitz. They married on June 23, 1946.

She is survived by her husband, Al; her daughter, Leslie; her sister, Mary Ellen Handwork; her nephew, James Ward (Lin); her niece, Ruth A. Nieboer (K.C.); grandnephew and -nieces, Col. Geoffrey C. Nieboer (Lisa), Elizabeth J. Nieboer (Daniel Finkelstein) and Emily J. Nieboer; great-grandnieces, Sydney Baugh and Anna Finkelstein; and great-grandnephew, Toby Finkelstein.  She was pre-deceased by a sister; Stella Ward.

She and Al started a successful auto parts store in Elmhurst, Illinois, after they were married. In 1962 they founded A.H. Choitz & Co. and acquired the John Deere construction equipment franchise with stores in South Bend and Fort Wayne. Martha ran the office, hired the staff, and in 1973 provided the initial design for the new dealership building on State Road 2 in South Bend.

Martha was passionate about history and architecture, travel and family. She was one of the early members of Southhold Restorations, which saved many local historic buildings including Tippecanoe Place. She was a longtime member of the Historic Preservation Commission South Bend and St. Joseph County and also served for many years on the boards of Camp Fire and South Bend Civic Theatre.

The family would like to thank Dr. James Blechl for his excellent and compassionate care over the years, and the nurses, aides and staff of the Center for Hospice Care for their kindness and gentle attentions.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545; South Bend Civic Theatre, 215 W Madison St., South Bend, IN 46601; Camp Fire River Bend, PO Box 459, Notre Dame, IN 46556; or to the charity of donor's choice.

Visitation will be held at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home, 17033 Cleveland Road, on Thursday, April 21, from 4 pm to 7 pm. Rev. Walter Stitt will conduct the funeral on Friday, April 22, at 1 pm, also at Welsheimer's.


Charitable donations may be made in Martha's memory to the following organizations:

Center for Hospice Care,
501 Comfort Ln., Mishawaka, IN, 46545

Camp Fire River Bend
PO Box 459, Notre Dame, IN 46556

Donors choice.

South Bend Civic Theatre
215 W Madison St., South Bend, IN 46601

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Condolence Booklet

Gary Alford
   Posted Wed April 20, 2016
R.I.P Martha you were always a first class lady.

Melissa and Ted Manier
   Posted Thu April 21, 2016
Our deepest sympathy to Al and Leslie on the passing of Martha. We were blessed to know her, and our community was blessed by her spirit, passion, and generosity.

Wishing you comfort and peace.

RIP, dear Martha~

Patrick J. Furlong
   Posted Tue April 26, 2016
So sorry, Leslie, that I was not able to be with you last week to offer my condolences in person (because I was on a brief visit to New York). It's only in retrospect that I realize how much I learned from your mother about the practical and political aspects of historic preservation at the local level from our years together as board members at Southhold Restorations.

Patrick J. Furlong