Date of Birth March 6, 1928
Date Deceased November 16, 2022
Hometown Arkport
Home State N.Y.
Service Date November 29, 2022
Service Time 11 a.m.
Service Location Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home
Interment Location Heritage Hill Cemetery, Arkport





Martha Elizabeth Svenson Kelly Shafer

ARKPORT – Martha Elizabeth Svenson Kelly Shafer age 94 of Arkport, New York and Duxbury, Massachusetts passed peacefully at Updyke’s Willow Ridge in Hornell on Wednesday (November 16, 2022). She was born on March 6, 1928 to Carl L. and Dorothy M. (Slader) Svenson in Milton, Massachusetts. Martha was raised in Milton and Duxbury. She spent ninety wonderful summers at her beloved family beach home in Duxbury with family and friends. In 1976, she married Herbert H. Shafer who predeceased her. Besides her husband, Martha was predeceased by her parents.

Martha was educated in Milton public schools and was a proud high school graduate of Thayer Academy in Braintree. She graduated from Simmons College and furthered her education at Pennsylvania State University before receiving a master’s degree from Alfred University.  Beginning her teaching career in Rhode Island, she taught home economics at Arkport Central School after moving to Western New York.  She ended her teaching career at the Wildwood Campus of Steuben-Allegany BOCES in Hornell.

Martha enjoyed teaching her students the arts of cooking, sewing and other hand crafts. Many remember her guidance and constructive criticism of their cooking and sewing projects and her advice on childcare and household management. Active in school including Yorkers Club and community events, she was involved in the Arkport Presbyterian Church especially after her retirement.

A talented seamstress, knitter and crocheter Martha loved to decorate her homes, to garden and to entertain family and friends especially at her beach house. Favorite pastimes included shopping, antiquing, and dining out. Always a bargain hunter and serious shopper, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Home Goods were favorite stops in her later years. She was always beautifully dressed and accessorized even in her 90s. At Updyke’s Martha was one of the best dressed women with her seasonal wardrobe changes.

Martha and her caregivers appreciated the excellent care she received at Updyke’s Willow Ridge for several years. The staff was wonderful to Martha, and many became her friends as did many of the residents.

She is survived by close friends and caregivers Beverly Crowell and Maribeth Crowell, cousins and friends including former students.

A memorial service with the Rev. Bruce Incze officiating will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, (November 29, 2022) at the Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home, 285 Main St. Hornell, New York. Burial will be in Heritage Hill Cemetery, Arkport. The service will be live streamed and may be seen either on the Facebook page of Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home or on the home page of (please see link for live stream) for 30 days beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday (November 29, 2022).

In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in her memory to the Arkport Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 6, Arkport, NY 14807 or CareFirst NY (Hospice in Steuben County), 3805 Meads Creek Road, Painted Post, NY 14870. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.

The Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral is honored to assist with Martha’s arrangements.

Online condolences or remembrances of Martha are welcome on the Facebook page of Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home, Inc. at







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