Martha Karen (Corsi) Heitzenrater, 78, passed away in April at Crestwood Nursing Home. She was the wife of the late Richard K. Heitzenrater.
Martha was born and raised in Bristol, Rhode Island, the daughter of the late Angelo Corsi and Ida Principe. She is survived by her children Paul Gilstrap II and his wife Kimberly, Kevin Gilstrap and his wife Gina, Karen Zompa and her husband Frederick Jr. and Bryan Heitzenrater. She is also survived by her brothers Angelo Corsi and Anthony Corsi. She was a loving and admired grandmother to eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Martha made many lifelong friends growing up in Bristol and married in to a military life upon reaching adulthood. She always worked and did so while embracing her role as a military spouse and raising her family. She traveled to many places and formed lasting friendships with people from all over the world and from many different backgrounds. Her experiences from those years left her a lifetime of fond memories.
Martha and her family settled back in Bristol after her husband Richard’s retirement from the Navy in 1980. She would eventually work and retire from NUWC. Martha was passionate about all animals, loved wildlife and was inspired by nature. She adored her pets, enjoyed bowling, and was an avid reader and puzzle solver. The library was a favorite place of hers.
Martha was fiercely devoted to her family and friends. She was a strong and determined woman who loved unconditionally and always put her family first. She would gladly go to the ends of the earth for those she loved.
She had the courage to stand up for what she believed regardless of the prevailing beliefs or norms of the time. She was a straight shooter with a big heart who was not afraid to go against the grain. You could always count on her to stand by your side, right or wrong, win or lose.
Martha had been hospitalized and faced death many times over the last several years. Through her strength, determination and sheer will power she fought and pulled through to return home to her husband. She was like a prize fighter holding on for her family.
Martha Heitzenrater lost her husband Richard in November of 2019. In the wee hours of April 25, 2020, just after midnight, she met Death one more time. Martha did not fight but went with Death willingly, leaving this world to sail in to the next to rejoin her husband, grandson and all of her loved ones who have passed.
Martha Karen Heitzenrater was a devoted wife, mother and loyal friend. Her memory and spirit will live on to be passed down and weaved into the lives of future generations of her descendents. Martha Karen Heitzenrater you will be forever loved and deeply missed.
Her burial will take place on June 6th at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
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