Martha Swain Carlson - North Smithfield

Martha Swain Carlson - North Smithfield

Martha Swain Carlson, 88, died peacefully on October 9, 2014, at Overlook Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Pascoag, Rhode Island. She was the loving wife of the late John William Carlson for 48 years.

Martha was born on April 24, 1926, in Champaign, Illinois, the daughter of Joseph Ward Swain, Ph.D. and Margaret Hatfield Swain. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Illinois, where she worked on the staff of The Daily Illini.

After graduation, she lived in New York City and Long Island, New York (where her children were born), before moving to Connecticut. There, she lived in Bethlehem and Southbury before moving to Rhode Island in 2009. Martha lived at The Villa at Saint Antoine for three years and at Overlook for almost two years.

She was a copy editor for Harcourt, Brace and Co., and was the founding editor of NYU Notebook at New York University. She and her husband launched Job/Scope in 1967, where she was the managing editor until they both retired in 1985. Job/Scope was a national trade journal for field supervisors in mechanical contracting firms.

She was a member of the First Church of Bethlehem, U.C.C. in Connecticut for more than 30 years, serving two terms as trustee. She was a member of the church's Investment Committee and had served as its Investment Chairman.

Martha, who was also called Marty, had many life-long friends from her days in New York and Connecticut, in addition to her new friends from Rhode Island. She enjoyed reading, current events (especially from the New York Times), playing cards and visiting with her family and friends.

She always had a smile for anyone she came in contact with and used that smile in combination with her lively blue eyes to lift the spirits of all around her.

She leaves a son, William Ward Carlson (and his fiancée Jennifer Zito) of Crofton, Maryland; a daughter, Margaret Carlson Hanoian (and her husband Martin) of North Smithfield, Rhode Island; a brother Theodore Merryman Swain of Grants Pass, Oregon; and two grandchildren, Grace Sophia Hanoian and Nicholas Hatfield Hanoian. She was the sister of the late Henry Huntington Swain of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A memorial service to which relatives and friends are invited will be held on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the First Church of Bethlehem, 21 Main Street South, Bethlehem, CT 06751. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Church of Bethlehem. Please visit for online obituary and condolences.