|Winona artist Martha Jean Greenwald, beloved wife of Randy Schenkat, died in her sleep after a 16-month courageous struggle with a rare ovarian cancer early in the morning of October 31st at their home. She has been a resident of Winona since her marriage on October 12, 2002 in Lanesboro.
Martha was born on Septemeber 8, 1954 and she grew up in Neenah WI, the daughter of Robert and Kathryn Greenwald. She greaduated from Neenah High School in 1972, and then with honors from Carrol College, Waukesha, WI, with majors in geography and Spanish, and a special concentration in art. This led to a position in Colorado Springs, CO with Robert Muir Assoc. working as a planner doing environmental impact studies. From there, Martha moved to Minneapolis to work with the Minnesota Project, a non profit specializing in planning services for small Minnesota communities and became its director in 1983. Martha took a sabbastical in Bogota, Colombia, helping a Jesit housing project for the poor.
In 1987 she changed course and settled in Lanesboro, working for a time with the Jefferson Center for Democratic Processes. She worked with art projects, becoming a founding member of Cornucopia Art Center, a member of the Lanesboro Art Council and a fan of the Commonweal Theatre. Her interest in community service included a nine year term as a member of the Lanesboro Library Board and her healing work as a massage therapist. While in Lanesboro Martha earned a Master's degree in Liberal Studies at Hamline University in St. Paul in 2001.
In Winona, Martha was board member of Sustain Winona with a special interest in transportation issues. She was a member and Mass lector at St. Mary's Catholic Church where she helped organize an environmental stewardship committee. She maintained a web site for the Winona Art Center and became a big sister for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Martha, also, served as a Spanish interpreter with Winona County Project FINE.
A collection of Martha's art was hung at the Blue Heron last fall. Over the years her art has been displayed in many galleries. Martha's artistic creations have a deeply imaginative quality, focusing on the natural world in playful ways. One of her favorite subjects was the fox, and her ribbon-like images of the Mississippi Valley are distinctive.
Her interest in nature and the outdoors began by spending summers at Lake Archibald in northern Wisconin and as an enthusiastic Girl Scout taking canoe trips through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. She stayed an ardent canoeist her whole life. In Fillmore County, she developed a springtime passion for morel hunting and the morels complemented her culinary creations throughout the year. Martha enjoyed plyaing tennis with the 'gals' in Winona Tennis Association. She loved travel especially to Latin America, taking many trips to Mexico. Martha was an avid reader and in any location was an enthused book club member.
She is survived by her husband, Randy Schenkat; her mother, Kathryn Briggs Greenwald of Neenah, WI; her sister, Ann Greenwald (Jim) Swinkola of Banner Elk, NC; sister-in-law, Sandra Schenkat of Winona; nephews Brian (Audra) Swinkola of Atlanta, GA and Jonathan Swinkola of Banner Elk, NC; aunt and uncle Dale and Kathleen Greenwald, St. Francis, WI.
Visition will be from 7-8:30 pm Sunday, November 2nd in the Visitation Commons of St. Mary's Church 1303 Broadway, Winona, Minnesota. The celebration of Martha's life will be Monday at 12 pm at St. Mary's. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Winona Area Hospice Services, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Winona or Lanesboro Public Libraries.
Martha's art can be seen at her website, www.marthagreenwald.com. Proceeds over the next two months will go to any of the above designated causes.