Martha Lindholm Lentz, 77, of Brunswick, Maine
BRUNSWICK, Maine — Martha Lentz died on May 2 in Brunswick, Maine, after living bravely for two years with pancreatic cancer. She was devoted to her family, a skilled and compassionate teacher of children with special needs, a talented photographer, and a great friend to many.
Martha Jane Lindholm was born in Waltham, Mass., on May 29, 1942, to Milton and Jane Ault Lindholm. In the summer of 1945, the family, which included her brother Karl (born in January 1945), moved to Lewiston, Maine, when her father assumed a position in Admissions at Bates College, where he worked for the next 30 years (the Admissions building at Bates is the Lindholm House). Martha attended public schools in Lewiston, graduating from Lewiston High School in 1960. She earned her degree in English from Bates in 1964.
After college, she lived in Cambridge, Mass., and enjoyed the lively ‘60s cultural scene there. She taught second grade for two years in Lincoln-Sudbury, Mass. — and then worked in a portrait studio right in Harvard Square, where her love of photography was incubated. She and another young woman ran the studio, doing all the practical tasks as well taking, developing, and printing the portraits. She wrote later that she “learned much from this experience, especially about lighting and quality.”
In 1968, she met Jim Lentz, a football coach at Harvard. They were married the following year in a small ceremony in the backyard of the Lindholm home on Nelke Place near Bates College. That year, Jim was appointed the head football coach at Bowdoin College, so Martha and Jim moved to the Brunswick area where they lived for the rest of their lives, much of that time in a farmhouse on Cathance Road in Topsham. When they married, Jim declared his only assets were a beat-up Land Rover and three canoes. They honeymooned on the Allagash River in northern Maine, the first and last trip of that sort that Martha ever undertook. Jim was the outdoorsman. In his last decade at Bowdoin, he directed the outing club and taught fly-fishing and other outdoor skills in the Physical Education Department. Upon retirement in 1992, he was named the Emeritus Director of the Outing Club. He died in 2009.
Sara Elizabeth Lentz was born in July, 1972, and John Benjamin Lentz in December, 1973. Martha taught part-time from 1976-85, then assumed a fulltime role as a Resource Room teacher at the Bowdoin Central School in 1985. In 1988, Martha earned a M.S in Education-Exceptionality from the University of Southern Maine. In total, she taught in MSAD75 in Brunswick and Bowdoinham for 35 years.
Martha’s specialty was Reading Recovery, a method which emphasizes intense one-on-one teacher-student interaction with beginning readers. It was developed and practiced most effectively in New Zealand, which took Martha there on a three-month teacher exchange in 1995 to learn about the concept and the techniques and skills required. She and Jim visited New Zealand on other occasions as well: Jim fished; Martha went to school. She loved her time there and made many longstanding friends, some who reciprocated with visits to the U.S. When Martha retired in 2011, she was showered with cards and letters by appreciative parents and students — and colleagues.
Martha’s passion was photography and her work appeared in many juried shows. She took several photography classes at the Maine College of Art. Her mentor was noted photographer Freeman Patterson, who became a great friend, and she attended his workshops in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and New Zealand. She was president of the First Light Camera Club in midcoast Maine. Martha said of her work: “Capturing the light, freezing moments in time, simplifying the chaos — this is what I seek. Shadows, reflections, fog, angles of the sun, nature’s beauty — this is where I find it.” Do visit her website: marthalentz.smugmug.com
Martha is survived by her daughter Sara Lentz of Edgecomb, Maine, and Sara’s children, Elijah, Isabella, Spencer, and Micah — Sara is a certified yoga instructor; Martha’s son, John Lentz, and his partner, Samantha Cook, of Topsham — John is a boat builder, the proprietor and builder of the Pulsifer-Hampton; her brother Karl Lindholm of Cornwall, Vt., and his wife Brett Millier, and their children, Jane, David, Peter, and Anne Lindholm.
Martha was a longstanding member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Brunswick (UUCB). A celebration of her life will be held there when that is possible. Donations in her memory may be made to UUCB (1 Middle Street, Brunswick, ME 04011) or to Spindleworks Art Center, an arts program for adults with disabilities (7 Lincoln Street, Brunswick, ME 04011).◊
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