Martha R. (Bessom) Gorman | 1916 - 2014 | Obituary

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Martha R. (Bessom) Gorman

Born: March 16, 1916
Died: July 19, 2014

Martha R. (Bessom) Gorman, retired teacher and lifelong Marbleheader, passed away in her home on July 16, 2014 at the age of 98. She was the widow of James “Chappy” Gorman and the daughter of Frank L. Bessom and Elise (Loberg) Bessom.


Martha graduated from Marblehead High School (Class of ’34), Colby College (Class of ’38), and received her master’s degree from Radcliffe College in 1942. She was owner and President of Tiny Tot Nursery School, Inc. from 1945 to 1966, and taught Kindergarten at the Steward School in Topsfield from 1966 until her retirement in 1978.


A lifelong member of St. Michael’s Church, she was a past member of the Vestry, Past President of St. Catherine’s Guild and the Parish Aid Society, a member of the Marblehead Historical Society, and a guide and greeter at the Lee Mansion for many years. Martha was also a member of the Col. Timothy Pickering Chapter of D.A.R., Peabody-Essex Museum, R.E.A.M., O.M.I.A., R.S.C.M.E.A, and the Marblehead/Swampscott V.N.A. She also served as Director of the Marblehead Female Humane Society.


She is survived by two daughters, Pamela Oppelt with whom she resided for many years of Marblehead and Elissa Simard of Exeter, NH, daughter-in-law Jacqueline Roark of Los Angeles, CA, six grandchildren, Laurie Mitchell, Michael Oppelt, James Gorman, William Gorman, Michelle Trask and Nicole Page, nine great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Martha was predeceased by her son, Dr. Mark Gorman, three sisters, Margaret Fogg, Helga Chapman and Florence Higgs and her brother, Rev. Joseph Bessom, O.H.C.


A Memorial service will be held at St. Michael’s Church, 26 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA on Friday, July 25th at 11 a.m. followed by a collation in the Parish hall. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s Church, 26 Pleasant St., Marblehead, MA 01945. Arrangements are under the direction of the Murphy Funeral Home, 85 Federal St., Salem. For additional information or on line guest book please call 978 744 0497 or visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com.

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