Cover photo for Martha Norwood's Obituary
Martha Norwood Profile Photo
1917 Martha 2017

Martha Norwood

September 25, 1917 — January 30, 2017

Martha McQuoid (no middle name) was born the second of four children on September 25, 1917 to Leland and Annie (Biggs) McQuoid in San Diego, California. At the age of two, she and her family journeyed from San Diego to Missouri, where both her parents were born, to visit relatives. That was in 1919 in a Studebaker Touring car. The first part of their journey (from San Diego to Yuma, Arizona) included driving on the famous plank road across shifting sand. Some of this plank road is still visible from time to time today. Growing up a bakery owner's daughter, she became quite happy on the sandy shores of San Diego.
She graduated from San Diego High School at the age of 16…two years ahead of her class. In 1939 she married Oreland Shelby Spencer (from Arkansas), a sailor she had met at church. Their marriage took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had two daughters, Donna and Louann.
"Spence" and Martha loved to go camping and as a family, found themselves by a lake, up in the mountains, or on the Anza-Borrego Desert almost every weekend. At first they were in tents, then later Spence built one of the first teardrop trailers. They took that teardrop from San Diego to Arkansas and back in the summer of 1950, visiting relatives. Later, he shortened the chassis of an old Ford and spit the rims so he had balloon tires to make one of the first "dune buggies". The family spent many hours exploring the washes and surroundings of the desert with friends. They never went out alone and always were connected to their friends' vehicles with CB radios.
Square Dancing became a favorite hobby also, Spence being one of the best Square Dance Callers of the time….heading up the Candlelighters, Bachelors and Bachelorettes, Dip n' Divers, Town Squares and several other clubs. Martha loved the exercise and friendships that Square Dancing brought. Most of these Square Dancers were also their camping and exploring family.
Spence died in 1981 of a heart attack and two years later Martha married her neighbor and friend, Arthur Norwood (also in Las Vegas). They continued to camp with their RV and travel the world, going across Canada by train, exploring Art's east-coast roots in Boston, Mass. and driving their RV across the States to Florida and back, and up to Anchorage, Alaska and back. They also took many cruises to Hawaii, Mexico and South America.
After Art died in 1997(?) Martha continued to live in San Diego until she had outlived most of her friends. At the age of 85 she decided to move to Rocklin, California to be closer to her oldest daughter, Donna and her husband Ralph Wright. Her other daughter, Louann Roos and her husband, John, and their son, Spencer, from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, visited many times.
At the age of 93 Martha decided she no longer wanted to drive (she didn't want to renew her license again), so she sold her car and became content being a passenger. As you can see, she was a very independent woman!
She continued to be very active in life, going to church every Sunday until she passed away at the age of 99. She really wanted to reach that 100 mark, but that wasn't to be. She did outlive two husbands, her parents and all three of her siblings.
She leaves a wonderful family…. Daughter Donna Wright and Ralph with granddaughters Gretchen Roake and Ryan who live in Portland, OR: and Heather DeLoach and Dan and five Great-grandchildren; Jacob (19), Zachary (16), Amanda (13), Kaitlyn (11) and Makayla (10)…and Daughter, Louann Roos and John with Grandson, Spencer Roos.
She is truly missed, especially her warm smile, gentle spirit, and great sense of humor which she never lost, even in the hospital. Now she is celebrating in the arms of Jesus and probably dancing on the beach (if there is a beach in heaven)!
To order memorial trees in memory of Martha Norwood, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

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Life Celebration

Friday, May 26, 2017

Starts at 11:00 am

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