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Mrs. Martha E. (Pratt) Scharfenberg

July 20, 1929 ~ June 30, 2018 (age 88)

Mrs. Martha E. Pratt Scharfenberg, of Maquon, Illinois died Saturday, June 30, 2018 at Knox County Nursing Home, Knoxville.

She was born July 20, 1929 in Monmouth, Illinois the daughter of Isaac Cleo and Florence Hill Pratt. She married Walter Theodore Scharfenberg on September 24, 1953 in Galesburg. He preceded her in death on October 31, 1994.

She is survived by her four sons, Dave (and Andrea) Scharfenberg of Maquon, Steve (and Fran) Scharfenberg of Knoxville, Dan (and Lida) Scharfenberg of Peoria, and Chuck  Scharfenberg of Maquon; her daughter, Amy (and Randy) Ems of Yorkville, Illinois; her nine grandchildren, including her two granddaughters, Megan (and Ross) Boveri and Miranda (and John) Karban whom she raised, Tyson (and Carrie) Walters, Ginny (and Eric) Harding, Ellie (and Aaron) Repp, Justin (and Nero) Scharfenberg, David, Rachel and Michael Ems and nine great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her daughter, Katie Utzinger on February 15, 1991.

Martha farmed with her husband and was a homemaker for her six children. She graduated from Roseville High school in 1947 and Knox College in 1951. While at Knox she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority, the Thunder on the Left Riding Club and was a member of the Rifle Team for four years.  She worked for the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce in Chicago and also Glacier National Park Lodge in Montana.  Martha taught school in London Mills while her husband was serving in Korea. She continued to substitute teach for many years and home schooled Tim Shenaut. For the last 20 years, she worked for Homestead Growers Greenhouse in Maquon.

Martha was a 70 year member of the PEO Chapter AM and a member of the Delong Book Treasure Club. She volunteered for many years for various organizations, including the Western Illinois Nature Group (WING). She had a lifelong love of nature and the outdoors that she instilled in her children and grandchildren. She knew all about trees, plants, birds and animals. Martha loved living in the country. She also loved dogs, and was especially fond of Scotties. She had a caring nature and a pleasant demeanor. Martha was a member of the Delong Congregational Church and later Orange Chapel Church.

In her younger years, Martha spent much time hiking in Montana and Colorado. She hiked to the summit of two mountains in Montana and 20 in Colorado, including Long’s Peak, her favorite. Martha had the pleasure of traveling all over the world with her husband, children and some good friends.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2018 at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services, Galesburg. Pastor Mary Runge will officiate. Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 pm Friday, July 6 at the chapel. Burial will be in Haynes Cemetery, Delong, Illinois. Memorials may be made to WING. Online condolences may be made at

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