Five years ago, Boulevard Presbyterian Church celebrated longtime congregant Martha Agler's 100th birthday.
On April 8, the church found itself celebrating again -- this time, honoring the life of a woman known throughout Grandview Heights for her achievements and sense of adventure.
Agler died April 4. She was 105 years old.
"She was a true lady who lived an incredibly accomplished life," said Boulevard Presbyterian pastor the Rev. Preston Shealy, adding he enjoyed the visits he shared with Agler since he came to Boulevard in 2014.
"With Martha, no matter how bad she was feeling, if you were paying her a visit, it was important to her," Shealy said. "She'd find a way to perk up and make you feel your visit was special."
Her passions included her family, traveling, Native American culture and early childhood education, he said.
"She traveled to almost every state and continued to drive a car until she was in her mid-90s, which I think is remarkable," Shealy said.
Agler served on the Grandview Heights school board from 1958-69, including nine years as board president.
She was appointed to the State Board of Education in 1974, representing the 15th Congressional District. She later was elected to the state board and served until 1982.
She also was appointed in 1983 to the Columbus State Community College board of trustees and served until 1991. During her tenure, she was involved in the creation of the college's child-development center and learning lab.
"Early childhood education was so important to her," said Mikie Bowles, preschool administrator at Boulevard. "I had all of her grandchildren come through our program. Her passion for education was something that I found inspiring."
During the Great Depression, Agler worked for the Federal WPA Nursery School Program, where she advanced to the position of assistant state supervisor.
Bowles said she remembers fondly the 100th birthday celebration for Agler that was held at the church.
"It was amazing to have so many people come out to celebrate this amazing woman," she said.
Agler was married for 51 years to Columbus attorney L. Dewitt Agler. They raised four children in Grandview and Marble Cliff.
Agler was actively involved with several local organizations during that time, including Camp Fire Girls, Cub Scouts, PTA and the Grandview Garden Club.
Her husband died in 1982.
Agler is survived by her four children: Nancy (John) Robbins of Monroe; Alice Eichman of Hyattsville, Maryland; Alan (Rosetta) Agler of Galloway; and Alfred (Carol) Agler of Grandview Heights. She also is survived by numerous grand-, great-grand- and great-great-grandchildren.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Martha B. Agler Scholarship Fund for Early Childhood Education in care of the Columbus State Community College Foundation, 550 E. Spring St., Columbus 43215; Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1235 Northwest Blvd., Grandview Heights 43212; or the charity of one's choice.