Martin & Zelda Capehart Genealogy Website
Martin & Zelda Capehart Genealogy Website
In Loving Memory -- Rev. Martin Ellis Capehart
June 13, 1934 -- March 31, 2010
The information on this website has been compiled from many sources.  We have tried to document and verify all information as much as possible and will continue to do so.  If you find an error or have additional information please contact us.
Creations by Zelda
The Martin & Zelda Capehart Genealogy Website
©copyright 2009 by Zelda Capehart All Rights Reserved

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Tribute by Martin Jr.

Good Morning, I'm Martin, Jr. - dad's oldest son - and on behalf of the entire family, I want to thank you for being here today.  Please bear with me this morning as I try to represent the family today.
For most of my childhood, dad was my Pastor.  For some of my brothers, dad was the only Pastor they remember and for our brother Joel, dad was his Pastor the day he was born.  Even as we left home, dad continued to be a Pastoral figure in our lives and the lives of our families.
Dad was the spiritual and emotional Patriarch of our extended family.  Dad's children, their spouses and his grandchildren all quickly came to understand that dad would listen to them as they had a need and would pray for them daily and often many times each day when their need was greatest.  Dad's brother, sisters, their spouses, their children and many of their grandchildren also had this relationship with dad.
Dad was a Pastor for nearly 25 years.  His greatest ministry gift was Pastoral Care - loving and caring for people.  Anyone who met dad could sense his sincere interest in them, their circumstances and their spiritual welfare.  Dad had a way of making anyone and everyone feel welcome and loved.  They knew that dad was not just giving them time but that he was giving them himself with nothing held back.  He gave unconditional acceptance and when they were with him or even talking to him on the phone, they were the most important person in the universe at that moment.  Even after dad retired from active ministry, he never stopped being a Pastor to people and everywhere dad went people were loved, cared for and led to the Lord.
Dad especially enjoyed working with young people.  During my teen years dad worked with teens at youth camps and other events.  It was so odd to me that dozens of teenage guys thought my dad was the coolest Pastor in the world.  Dad's kingdom impact on these young men has always amazed me.  I have heard, many times, as I would meet these men, as adults, how dad was the man who inspired them to give their lives to Christian service.  Many of those young boys that dad ministered to in youth camps are Pastors, Missionaries, Seminary Professors and one Pastors one the largest Wesleyan Church's in the United States.
Dad has friends throughout the Wesleyan World - other Pastors that he worked with through the years.  The two Pastors, who are leading this service today, served with dad in ministry and he held them both in high regard.
Dad wasn't just a spiritual figure to his family - he was also a role model.  Dad modeled what it meant to be a Christian, he modeled what it meant to be a husband, he modeled what it meant to be a father and he modeled what it meant to be a man.  Dad taught us to fish and hunt.  He taught us to do things for ourselves.  He taught us to care for others and to help anyone in need.  Dad taught us that all of God's people, regardless of the age, gender, race, faith or station in life were God's children and deserved to be treated with respect.  Dad taught us what a privilege it was to be an American and that we should respect the flag, the national anthem, the pledge of allegiance, and those in authority over us even when we disagreed with their opinions and actions.
Dad loved to pray and commune with his heavenly father.  All of us loved to hear dad pray and most of us felt unworthy to pray in his presence since we felt inadequate when measured against dad's prayers.  Tuesday evening Dad rallied in the hospital and spent a couple of hours or so with many of us - a moment that we will never forget.  He laid his hands on each of us, exhorted us, prayed for us and blessed us.  He also got to speak with some of us and pray for us, by phone, during that time.  We got to say goodbye and know that not only was dad ready to leave this life for heaven but that he was joyful that his time had come.  I know none of us will ever forget our moment with dad that evening.
In the months and years ahead, we need to be there for each other - we need to love and care for each other.  This is what dad would want for all of us.  He would want us to carry the torch and hold it high for all the world to see.  He would want us to be faithful to Jesus and the Cross to make certain that we will join him in heaven one day. 

Rev. Martin Ellis Capehart -- obituary

     Rev. Martin Ellis Capehart, 75, of Gentry, Arkansas, died March 31, 2010, at Siloam Springs Memorial Hospital, Siloam Springs, Arkansas.  Born June 13, 1934, in Adair, Iowa, he was the son of Ray Ellis Capehart and Gladys Morgan Capehart.  He has lived in the area since 1994 and was an ordained minister through the Wesleyan Church, pastoring churches in Kansas and Missouri for 20 years.  He married Zelda Hallowell in Cedar Creek Friends Church in Henry County, Iowa, on July 14, 1956. 
    Survivors include his wife, Zelda, of the home; five sons, Martin Capehart, Jr., and wife, Sherry, of Bentonville, Arkansas; Paul Capehart of Springtown, Arkansas, Daniel Capehart of Columbia Falls, Montana; Stephen Capehart of Springtown, Arkansas; and Joel Capehart and wife, Kamela, of Siloam Springs, Arkansas; twelve grandchildren; two sisters, Joan Palmer of Miltonville, Kansas, and Jeanne Cunningham of Seligman, Missouri; and one brother, David Capehart of Lowell, Arkansas.
    Pallbearers will be Bruce Herman, Josh Granderson, David Goetz, Danny Berndt, Joseph Capehart, Bob Henderson, Tom Kennedy, and Charles Schenck.
    Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 3, 2010, at Wasson Memorial Chapel, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, with the Rev. David Hadsell and the Rev. Raymond Anderson officiating.  Burial will follow at Springtown Cemetery, Springtown, Arkansas.  Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 2, 2010, at Wasson Funeral Home, Siloam Springs. 

Life is like a mountain railway,
With an engineer thatís brave;
We must make the run successful,
From the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the fills, the tunnels;
Never falter, never fail;
Keep your hands upon the throttle,
And your eyes upon the rail.

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore,
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

You will roll up grades of trial;
You will cross the bridge of strife;
See that Christ is your conductor
On this lightning train of life;
Always mindful of obstruction,
Do your duty, never fail;
Keep your hands upon the throttle,
And your eyes upon the rail.

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore,
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore

The gospel song, Life's Railway To Heaven, had special meaning to Martin the last year of his life.  He sang it last year on Christmas Day when family gathered for gift exchange and sang it again while lying on his hospital bed in ICU the evening before he passed away.  What a miracle family and friends beheld as he suddenly became alert, sang all 4 verses and the chorus of this song, and prayed with and blessed each 
You will often find obstructions,
Look for storms and wind and rain;
On a fill, or curve, or trestle
They will almost ditch your train;
Put your trust alone in Jesus,
Never falter, never fail;
Keep your hands upon the throttle,
And your eyes upon the rail.

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore,
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore

As you roll across the trestle,
Spanning Jordanís swelling tide,
You behold the Union Depot
Into which your train will glide;
There youíll meet the Supírintendent,
God, the Father, God the Son,
With the hearty, joyous plaudit,
"Weary pilgrim, welcome home."

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore,
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore

"The origin of this song is murky. Eliza R. Snow may have written the original lyrics, with M. E. Abbey (a Baptist minister in Georgia in the 1890s) supplying the chorus. There is a similar poem/hymn by Snow, called ďTruth Reflects upon Our Senses,Ē which Tillman put to this same tune in 1909."
Source: Timeless Truths Free Online Library -- Copyright: Public Domain
The Eulogy

Martin Ellis Capehart was born June 13, 1934 in a farmhouse near Adair, Iowa, to Ray Ellis & Gladys Eilene (Morgan) Capehart, weighing in at 13 pounds at birth.  He was the 2nd of 5 children, Nona the oldest and Joan, Jeanne and David following in that order.  He wanted a brother very much and was so glad when his baby brother, David joined the family.  I'm sure he loved his sisters but what boy wouldn't want a brother in a house full of girls?

During his freshman and sophomore years of high school he played on the Guthrie Center, Iowa football team.  He was #33.   He did his chores at home, then walked to school from his home in the country and then walked home again following classes and football practice, probably to do chores again.  His folks never had the privilege of watching him play and he did not have a picture of himself in his football uniform.  A few years ago we visited the Guthrie Center high school and he met with his former football coach, who loaned him a picture of the team, which I had copied at a photo shop, framed and presented to him for his birthday.

The family moved from Adair, Iowa to Harrison Arkansas when he was 16 to help in a mission, now the Harrison Wesleyan Church.  He wheeled many a wheelbarrow load of cement for the church building and spoke at the dedication service when they remodeled the original building many years later.   He attended Bergman, AR high school, his Junior year and graduated from Miltonvale Academy, Miltonvale, KS following completion of his senior year of high school in 1952. 

One of the things I first noticed about Martin was his great respect for women and his love for his mother.  He loved all his family but I think it was his mother's prayers who helped make him the man he became.  When he was 13 he almost died of pneumonia.  His mother sat by his bedside praying, never leaving his side.  Sulfa drugs were all that was available then to treat pneumonia and he was allergic to them.  This was back when doctors still made house calls.  When their doctor left their home one day he didn't expect Martin to still be alive when he returned the next day.  God answered his mother's prayers and he returned to full health.  He has also told me of the time he was backslidden and his mother held on in prayer for him until he returned to serving God.  He also shared with me the time he was crossing a ford in the road and muddy water splashed all over his car's windshield and he couldn't see where he was going.  His mother said she felt she needed to pray for him and stopped what she was doing to do so.  They compared times and it was at the exact same time he was crossing that ford in the road.

He attended William Penn College at Oskaloosa, IA where we met and the Kansas City College & Bible School, Overland Park, KS.  He completed his Course of Study for Elder's Orders through the Wesleyan Methodist Church and was ordained in 1975.  Becoming an ordained minister was a very special time for him.

We were married July 14, 1956 at the Cedar Creek Friends church in Henry County, IA, near the small town of Salem.  We lived in Oskaloosa, IA a couple months, moved to Harrison to live with his parents a couple months and then traveled by bus to Kansas City and lived in that area a few years.

While we lived at Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City, our oldest son, Martin Jr and our #2 son, Paul were born.  We moved to Rogers, AR during the summer of 1961. Our #3 son, Daniel was born while we lived there.  In 1962 we moved to Horton, KS where our # 4 son, Stephen was born..

In August of 1966 Martin took his first pastorate at the Englewood Wesleyan Church located near Phillipsburg, KS.   This move became our first all night moving experience.  One U-Haul truck was used to move three pastors.  The truck broke down and we waited several hours for it to arrive so we could load our possessions and make the drive from northeast Kansas to the northwest part of central Kansas.  We pastored there for 5 years.  Our youngest son, Joel was born while we pastored there.

In Aug. of 1971 he assumed the pastorate of the Leavenworth, KS Wesleyan Church for two years, then the Mexico, MO Wesleyan Church in August of 1973 for one year.  This was followed by pastorates at the Wesleyan Church in Hannibal, MO for 4 years (1974-78); the Wesleyan Church in Caruthersville, MO for 5 years (1978-1983). and the Wesleyan Church at Poplar Bluff, MO for 3 years (1983-1986).

The churches he pastored were all small churches making it necessary for him to be bi-vocational.  I think it was at Poplar Bluff when I first noticed a decline in his health.  He took a leave of absence July 1986 and never returned to pastoring.  He missed the ministry very much.  We lived at Powell, MO, then Gravette, AR and moved to our present home in March of 1994.  He said he never wanted to move again and that wish was fulfilled when God took him home March 31, 2010.

The last few years of his lives were devoted to a prayer ministry and the wall by his computer was lined with photos of family and friends he was praying for.  He believe in honoring our servicemen and every Friday he wore a red shirt in memory of them.

It has been a joy and privilege to do research on his family the past few years and to able to provide him with photos and information on his ancestors and their descendants, people he knew little of before.  

What a reunion he must be having now with his parents, his granddaughter Michelle, and other relatives and friends who have gone on before him.

He will be greatly missed by his wife, his 5 sons and 2 daughter-in-laws, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, his sisters and his brother and other family members and friends.  We know he is in a better place where there is no more pain and suffering.

Zelda Capehart
April 1, 2010

Life's Railway To Heaven

Links to Photos
family member and friend as they came to his bedside.  One family member stated that in all her years of nursing and observing death, she had never witnessed anything like it.  Employees of the hospital made the same comment.  It was a indeed a miracle sent from God  -- you see he died of respiratory failure about 9 hours later. 
Background by Zelda: Praying Hands on Bible  Image found at
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