Cover photo for Mary "Joan" Martella's Obituary
Mary "Joan" Martella Profile Photo

Mary "Joan" Martella

February 7, 1935 — November 7, 2022


Mary "Joan" Martella

Mary “Joan” Martella, 87, of Ukiah, left her place with us on November 7, 2022. Born on February 7, 1935 to Albert and Martille Hixson in San Francisco; their family was complete once her Brother, Raymond, arrived.  Growing up in Butte County, Joan attended Middle School in Paradise with fond memories of her time in Sterling City before moving to Humboldt County where she attended High School in Fortuna.     


With a passion for food and a striking charisma, it was while working at a restaurant in Ferndale where she met, then married, Lowell Fansler, not long after, her first son, Dennis was born.  Later, remarrying to Jerald “Gabby” Martella, Joan’s second son, Brian was born.  Creating a life and raising the boys in Redwood Valley, as time went on Joan acquired two bonus sons, Dennis Ricketts and Wayne Getts; the kind of mom everyone should have. 


Easily found in the kitchen, bringing joy to life with homemade goodness, a true love and work of art that she continued to perfect.  Working in restaurants throughout her life, she was proud to own a couple of her own, most notably, the Potter Valley Inn and another in Redwood Valley with semi-truck parking along the highway near the Cookie Factory to draw patrons from near and far.  In addition to her time in the kitchen, Joan worked at Carousel Carpets in Ukiah upon opening and as a school bus driver for several local school districts, which she treasured; “Grandma Joan”, as the kids called her.


After retiring she became an active and well-known volunteer for Senior Companion as well as a resident of Walnut Village for over 25 years; both of which she took great pride in.  Within this community, she would often cook holiday meals, inviting all of the tenants and their families to join in the celebration.  Referring to herself as the “Pie Lady”, she baked from the heart and thoroughly appreciated the praise she received in return.  She didn’t stop at pies, Joan was also acclaimed for her Macaroni and Potato Salads, having secured sales through the Redwood Valley Market, she was famous.


The center stone of her family, the kind of glue that comes from limitless love, Joan considered her close friends to be family as well.  A compassionate soul that reached far and wide, loving endlessly, she will be forever missed by all.


A life well-lived, Joan is preceded in death by her husband, Jerald, bonus sons Dennis and Wayne, parents, Albert and Martille, brother, Raymond, and many beloved pets.


Joan is lovingly survived by her sons, Dennis and Brian, bonus daughter in law, Kim; grandchildren, Melissa, Daniel (Rachel), Olivia, Jeremy (Crystal), Tracy, Simon (Samantha), Shanna, Kristy (Keith), Jeff (Kym), Wesley, Joey (Nacy); great-grandchildren, Russell, Aubrey, Whitney, Ethan, Ace, Kallum, Karson, Abigail, Ryan, Lucas, Kaylee, Madalyn, Austin, Kameron, Giuliana, and Colson; as well as her sidekick, Guido the Dog.


To know Joan is to know that she served every meal with a twinkle in her eyes and a smile a mile wide.  In honor of Joan, to celebrate her life, a Potluck gathering will be at the Ukiah Valley Golf Course Clubhouse on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.  More importantly, a way to honor her with stories and memories just as she would like it.


Grandma Joan, may you be dancing the Foxtrot in Heaven.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary "Joan" Martella, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, January 15, 2023

2:00 - 4:30 pm (Pacific time)

Ukiah Valley Golf Course Club House

599 Park Blvd, Ukiah, CA 95482

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 322

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree