Cover photo for Martha  L. Mothershed's Obituary
Martha  L. Mothershed Profile Photo
1941 Martha 2022

Martha L. Mothershed

March 5, 1941 — November 7, 2022

Lt. Colonel Martha Suarez Mothershed was born March 5, 1941 in Santiago de Cuba to Moises and Ernestina Suarez. She was called to her eternal rest and freed from pain from  her home in Lilburn, Georgia Monday, November 7, 2022 after a very lengthy illness. Martha fought the most wonderful fight - she was the toughest.

Martha’s parents were officers in Cuba, and Martha was one of their four children. She served with her parents at various appointments in Cuba. The appointment she spoke most frequently  of was the Children’s Home. While living in the Children’s Home she served as the pharmacist - even as young as 12 years of age. Martha learned her work ethic, love for God and love for the Army from her parents.

With the rise of Castro in Cuba, Colonel Suarez found a way to get 18 year-old Martha out of Cuba - to join her sister Miriam in Tampa, Florida. Once there Doris Musgrave took Martha under her wing, opened her heart and her home and became her “adopted mother”, or “mama”, and Nana to her children. Martha learned more than English from this “English Lady.” She learned the gift of hospitality, hard work and a love for cooking. All of these were traits that Martha would infuse in every aspect of her life moving forward.

While she was attending The Salvation Army Corps in Tampa she met her future husband, David. They married at the age of 20 on August 5, 1961 and started a long and fulfilling journey. David and Martha were blessed to have three children, David, Jr., Deanna and Tina.

Called to Salvation Army officership as a 12 year-old in Cuba, she would fulfill this calling with David after establishing their new family in the States. Upon entering the School for Officers Training in 1975 to join the “Companions of Christ” session, Martha’s testimony was this: “Many years have passed and many different experiences… But I am sure I will not be satisfied until I can help those in need, whether it be Soup, Soap or Salvation.“ David and Martha served together as Corps Officers in Sand Springs, Oklahoma and Melbourne, Florida and various positions at the Divisional Headquarters in Florida, Georgia and Texas. In the years leading up to retirement, she served with a huge servant’s heart at The Conference Center at  Territorial Headquarters in Atlanta.

Martha’s greatest joy was creating amazingly beautiful, intricate things and serving tirelessly. Whether it was a meal for 3 or 300, bouquets and decorations for a wedding, or preparing special rooms for different events. No matter how big or small, Martha never did “just enough.” If you knew Martha - you know that everything alwayshad her extra special touch. Martha shared her infectious smile with all and made sure that everyone felt special. She was the definition of “people person!”

Besides creating beautiful things and beautiful settings, Martha had an angel’s voice, played the tambourine like it was on fire and lived to find joy in the small things with her family.

After retiring, Martha faced a series of complications with surgeries that left her unable to move the way she preferred and was used to. While she persevered through all of these roadblocks, in the end she was not able to overcome her battle with cancer.

Martha leaves behind a family that cherished her as someone who always gave to them that extra 110% and leaves an unfillable hole. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, David Mothershed, her daughters Deanna (Tommy) Aaron and Tina (Greg) Sjogren as well as her grandchildren Connor (Shelby) and Jacob Mothershed, Kristin (Patrick) Hayes and Bridget Aaron and Jarod (Chloe), Kaleb, Kinzy, Maiah and Nolan Sjogren, and her great-grandchildren William and Benjamin Mothershed. Martha also leaves behind her sister Miriam Musgrave, brother Josue (Shirley) Suarez and many nieces, nephews, family members and friends. Martha is preceded in death by her parents Lt. Colonels Moises and Ernestina Suarez, son David R. Mothershed, Jr. and brother Moises Suarez.

There will be a Celebration of Life at

The Salvation Army Atlanta Temple Corps

Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.

Please share your memories of Martha. We would love to know, or remember, how she made your life special.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha L. Mothershed, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Church Service

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

The Salvation Army Atlanta Temple Corps

2090 North Druid Hills Road, Atlanta, GA 30329

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