At the age of 10 Elizabeth "Janie" Martin not only participated in her first beauty contest, she was in the "Our Gang" movie.
Born in Independence, KS, Janie lived there until her father was transferred to Wichita her junior year of high school so she graduated from East High School.
After high school graduation, she attended K-State with an emphasis in home economics and nursing. She transferred to Brown's Business College and started working at Bredenburg Swanson car dealership where she assisted with bookkeeping. She enjoyed the accounting aspect so much, she returned to K-State to study business. It was during this time she met her future husband, Loren, at the Methodist Church-Wesleyan Foundation. He was also a K-State student studying animal husbandry. One year later, Janie and Loren married.
Janie started working full time for Dr. Pauley as a receptionist so Loren could finish his college education. Upon Loren's graduation they moved to his parents' farm to help with the harvest. The family homestead was given to Loren and Janie and they turned it into a working dairy with over 100 cows.
In 1951, Janie had her first child. Over the next 17 years she had five more children. She was a 4-H mom helping the children show cows, chickens and rabbits. In 1973 they sold the farm and moved to Clay Center.
Loren became a traveling salesman and Janie went to work in a florist shop and started selling Avon.
The family survived the 1973 tornado that struck Clay Center.
Janie belonged to the Centennial Pioneer Women's group that put on a play depicting the town during their pioneer days during the 1976 centennial.
After receiving his preaching certificate, Loren began leading the Fancy Creek and Swede Creed country churches. Janie could not imagine being a preacher's wife, but found if she was just herself she was effective in supporting others when she went with her husband on visitations.
In 2005, Janie moved to Via Christi Village in Manhattan. She says it is a beautiful place. She enjoys all of the activities, especially Bible study, bingo, hymn singing and crafts.
She has 13 grandchildren and says with a smile, "You got to have faith."