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Old 03-13-2006, 10:12 PM   #1
Jimmy Biggs
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Default Don Garlits mother passes

Helen Lorenz Martino
Born, July 2nd, 1910 Died, March 12th, 2006

Helen was a survivor, she raised two boys, Donald Glenn Garlits and Edward Lawrence Garlits during one of the most difficult times in America, “The Great depression”. She and the young boys were often seen in the strawberry fields in Plant City Florida, picking strawberries to help buy food for the Garlits table. Her husband Edward Elmer Garlits had a peddler’s route in Tampa to provide the rest of the income.

In 1942 she divorced Edward and married Alexander James Weir and established Weir’s dairy in North Tampa. Here she raised calves and bottled milk for Lortons Dairy, a small creamery located on the Weirs Dairy property. Alex Weir passed away in 1953 and Helen had to liquidate the Dairy.

Helen met Frank Martino in Sulfur Springs at a dance and several weeks later were married. Frank Martino passed away in 1997. Helen then came to Ocala to live with her oldest son, Donald at the Drag Racing Museum complex. Helen became the official “Greeter” in the Antique Car Museum, a part of the Garlits Auto Museum facilities. She became a part of the legend of Don Garlits, telling the childhood stories of Don and Ed growing up.

About a year ago, at age 94, her health began to fail and she had to have 24/7 care and her son Donald had the Bridges of Ocala care for her. “Mom called me the Sunday morning, the 12th and we had a very good conservation, she said she wasn’t feeling well” Don reports. A little later I got a phone call from my brother Ed and he said she didn't sound very good. I told Ed to go to the Bridge and I would meet him there. Ed lives in Floral City Florida, so the trip is about 45 minutes. My wife Pat and I arrived about 2:15 and I told Mom I should call the ambulance and she should go to the hospital. Mom said, “Honey, please don’t send me to the hospital, let me die in my own little bed”, I respected her wish. My wife and I held her hand and prayed with her as her pulse slowed and finally stopped at exactly 2:35 PM on March 12th 2006. The emergency people arrived at 2:40 and hooked her to the heart machine and she was “flat line” on the tape. Mom is in Heaven with Frank now and the rest of her friends, God rest her soul.

Helen Lorenz Martino is survived by, her two Sons, Donald Glenn Garlits and Edward Lawrence Garlits, her two Granddaughters, Gay Lyn Capitano and Donna Garlits Perry, her four Grandsons, Edward Lawrence Garlits, William Daniel Garlits, David Garlits and Stephen Garlits, her three Great Granddaughters Tabatha Garlits, Kirsten B. Capitano, Sarah Lyn Smith and Anna Elizabeth Capitano, her Great Grandsons, Rodney Donald Smith, Christopher Garlits, Benjamin Gregory Capitano and William Francis Garlits.

Her Son,
Don Garlits
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:53 AM   #2
Rick Miller
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I talked with her a couple times. The last time was in 03 when we stopped at the Musuem. She will be missed.

God Speed !!
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