Martha Jean Nyatwa

June 24, 1947 ~ April 13, 2020 (age 72)


Martha Jean Nyatawa, 72, of Terre Haute, passed away in her home on April 13, 2020. She was born June 24, 1947, in Jackson, Michigan, to Leland and Mildred Bradley.

In Martha’s house, the First Movement of Bach’s Italian Concerto was the morning’s alarm clock. She’d enthusiastically pound out the boisterous melody on the keys of the living room piano until her kids, rubbing their eyes as the sun rays peaked through the curtains, emerged from their bedrooms to acknowledge the new and glorious day.

For more than six decades, Martha taught violin, viola, cello and piano lessons to students of all ages. During that same span, she performed across the world in concert halls, living rooms, nursing homes, churches and coffee shops. She double-majored in music and mathematics at Indiana University, where she studied violin under Daniel Guilet. She continued her violin studies under Eric Rosenblith at the New England Conservatory, later studied at the Nuremberg Conservatorium, and subsequently completed her Master of Arts in music at Ball State University. She played with the Terre Haute Symphony for 36 years. She was also concertmistress for the Terre Haute Sinfonietta Pops Orchestra, with whom she had been playing for more than 20 years. She will be remembered for her diligence and care as a musician – but also for her gregarious spirit, her strong faith, her unyielding resilience and her kind heart.

Martha is survived by her three children; son, Alexander Perlis and his wife Heather; son, Jonathan Nyatawa and his wife Megan; daughter, Rachel Williams and her husband Jermaine; granddaughters, Arianna, Aubree and Adelynn Williams; granddaughters, Astrid and Delphine Perlis; grandson, Simon Nyatawa; sister, Mary Gordon and her husband Ron; nephew, Benjamin Orisich and his wife Nicole. She was preceded in death by her husband, George; her parents; and sister, Barbara Orisich.

Memorial services will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, tax-exempt charitable donations honoring Martha may be given to the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra (, the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation (, the Suzuki Association of the Americas (, or any charity whose mission is to bring music education and inspiration to children. Online condolences may be made at

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