Mary Anna Martin Wyall
Mary Anna Martin Wyall
  • January 24, 1922 - March 9, 2017
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana

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MARY ANNA MARTIN "MARTY" WYALL, 95, passed away Thursday, March 9, 2017, at home with her family after a battle with brain cancer. Born January 24, 1922, in Liberty, IN, Marty was a daughter of the late Reverend Sumner L. and Bernice (Smith) Martin. In 1939 Marty graduated from Shields High School, Seymour, IN, and in 1943 graduated from DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, with a Bachelor of Science degree in bacteriology. On December 7, 1941, Marty was moved to tears listening to radio reports from Pearl Harbor in the wake of the Japanese attack; she vowed to respond in a meaningful manner. That same year, in an effort to allow more men to go to war, General Hap Arnold called for the creation of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), a military program that allowed women to ferry military aircraft. Marty wanted to become a WASP, but her father insisted she graduate from college first. After graduation from DePauw, Marty began flight lessons and soloed at Sky Harbor in Indianapolis in 1943. She was chosen from thousands of other applicants to become a member of the WASPs and graduated in December 1944, the last WASP class. After the end of World War II, Marty returned to Indianapolis and worked at the same Sky Harbor Airport. There she met and later married a young brash trainee pilot, Gene Wyall. After moving to Fort Wayne, Gene and Marty purchased a farm close to Baer Field where Marty raised Hereford cattle, operated C&E Aviation (the first woman air taxi business in Indiana), and raised their five children. Marty's legacy is written in many ways. Her love for flying pushed her to be a pioneer in aviation both locally and nationally. Marty's work for the WASPs continued into the years after the war as she helped reunite and organize the graduates of the WASP program. She was the historian for 17 years and the president for another two years. In 1977 the WASPs were granted veteran status by an Act of Congress, and on May 10, 2010, the WASPs were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Another part of her legacy was borne from her love for farming and gardening when she became one of Fort Wayne's master gardeners. Less known are the years Marty spent working with and contributing to many other charitable organizations including her volunteer service at Lawton Park Greenhouse for over 20 years. Marty's passion for flying and her years in aviation are the foundation for a heritage of pilots. Following in her footsteps are her son, Sumner, retired pilot at Southwest Airlines; her grandson, Brian Pohl, pilot at Southwest Airlines; her grandson, Andrew Wyall, pilot at Texas Lutheran College; and her granddaughter, Lt. Hannah Wyall, pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Marty is survived by her sons, Sumner (Renee') Wyall of Bradenton, FL, John (Leslie) Wyall of Orem, UT, Peter (Melody) Wyall of Fort Wayne, IN; daughter, Martha (Tony) Pohl of Fort Wayne, IN; and daughter-in-law, Valerie Wyall of Salt Lake City, UT. She is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Marty was also preceded in death by her husband, Eugene Wyall; brothers, Birney Dean Martin and Glen C. Martin; sister, Louise Mohler; and her son, Cary E. Wyall. Memorial service for Marty is 2 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2017 with family visitation one hour before at First Wayne Street United Methodist Church, 300 E. Wayne Street, Fort Wayne, IN. Following a ceremony on Memorial Day 2017, Marty's ashes will be spread at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas, where Marty trained as a WASP. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to either make donations to Fort Wayne Parks Department or contribute in memory of "Marty Wyall 44-W-10" at The National WASP Museum, 210 Avenger Field Road, Sweetwater, Texas ( Arrangements by Klaehn, Fahl & Melton Funeral Home.