Persis “Mitch” Martin

Persis C. “Mitch” (Hicks) Martin of Londonderry, 87, a nurse, musician, composer, dancer, and poet, died Feb. 26, 2014 in Nashua, following a brief illness.

The youngest of four children born to Thomas M. B. and Mildred (Todd) Hicks, Mrs. Martin was born in Brownsville, Texas, on July 5, 1926, but spent much of her childhood in Kingston, Penn. She graduated from Kingston High School in 1944.

After attending Ohio Wesleyan University, she danced professionally in New York before marrying Charles R. Scoggins Sr., a career Air Force officer. A master of several musical instruments and often self-taught, she taught ballet and tap dancing and also composed liturgical music. She produced and directed the opera “Patience” at Rikkyo University in Tokyo while living in Japan in the late 1950s, and while living in Chelmsford, Mass., during the 1960s, wrote the original songs, choreographed, produced, directed, and acted in the town variety show, “The Chelmsford Follies.” She also directed the local Miss Massachusetts Pageant during that time and was the organist and choir director at All Saints Episcopal Church in Chelmsford.

After moving to California and then to Maryland in the late 1960s, she graduated with high honors from Prince George’s (Md.) Community College with a degree in nursing in 1973. She worked in the Intensive Care Unit at Prince George’s County Hospital. After moving to Hampstead in the mid-1970s, she worked at Hampstead Hospital and Parkland Medical Center in Derry before becoming director of nursing at Salem Haven in Salem, N.H., where she also played the organ at chapel services.

In Hampstead she directed variety shows for the Lions Club and was a ham radio hobbyist with the call sign KA1TRP. A lung cancer survivor, she participated in the annual CROP walks.

Following her retirement, she married Rev. Walter “Doc” Martin and was a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Nashua.

She is survived by her six children, Charles R. Scoggins Jr. and his wife, Victoria, of Lowell, Mass., and St. Petersburg, Fla.; Richard T. Scoggins and his wife, Cathy, of Glendale, Calif.; Wendy E. Elliott and her husband, David, of Jaffrey; Kim C. Scoggins and his wife, Deborah, of Bluffton, S.C.; Erin M. Scoggins of Port Orange, Fla.; and Colin S. Scoggins and his wife, Helene, of Nashua; three stepchildren, Virginia Jennings and her husband, Gregory, of Acworth, Ga.; Peggy Wilkinson and her husband, Joe, of Somerset, Ohio; and David Mitchell and his wife, Tina, of Oreland, Penn,.; 16 grandchildren; 14 greatgrandchildren; many nieces and nephews; a sister, Barbara Harding of Sterling, Va.; her first husband, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Charles R. Scoggins Sr., of Edgewater, Fla., and Jaffrey; and Rev. Martin’s daughters, Judy Smith of Bridgewater and Eleanor Gilder of Port Washington, N.Y. She was preceded in death by her brothers Thomas Hicks IV and Warren Hicks, her second husband, Maj. (Ret.) Wallace Mitchell, and her stepson, John Mitchell.

Calling hours are Thursday, March 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 290 Mammoth Road, Londonderry. Funeral services are Friday, March 7, at 10 a.m. in Christ the King Lutheran Church, 3 Lutheran Drive, Nashua. Burial will be in the spring in Conant Cemetery, Jaffrey.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Pastoral Care at Salem Haven, 23 Geremonty Drive, Salem, NH 03079; Church World Service CROP WALK, New York Corporate Center, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 700, New York, NY 01015; or ELCA World Hunger, 1725 I St., NW, Suite 510 Washington, D.C. 20006. To send a condolence or for more information, visit

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