By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald
Martin Mumaw III’s life was celebrated in a stirring memorial service at First Christian Church on Saturday. Mumaw, the former Daviess County Treasurer and Republican chairman, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.
Friends, political figures and many whose lives were touched by the great public servant were in attendance and honored what Dr. Byron Holtsclaw called, “a life well lived.”
“Our entire community has a heavy heart,” Holtsclaw said. Mumaw was a member of First Christian Church and served as a trustee and board member.
Holtsclaw and Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit spoke during the hour-long service, sharing stories and praising Mumaw’s dedication to the community he loved.
Harbstreit began his eulogy by saying Mumaw, his friend, was “just an awesome person.”
“Martin offered all he had and all he was to this community,” Harbstreit said.
Harbstreit, in talking about his political career, said Mumaw enjoyed being behind the scenes, and knowing the right things to do for any campaign.
“Nothing gave him more pleasure of laying the groundwork of a good campaign and seeing it play out,” Harbstreit said. “He responded faithfully whenever anyone needed him.”
Mumaw was instrumental in creating and keeping Daviess County the Republican stronghold it now is. Currently, every elected official in county government is Republican and the GOP holds the city mayor’s office and a majority on the city council. He was also instrumental in helping Republicans in state and national campaigns, like current Eighth District Rep. Larry Bucshon. Representatives from Bucshon’s staff were present at the service.
Bucshon gave a speech Tuesday on the floor of the House of Representatives praising Mumaw’s work. It was the last speech he got to hear, Harbstreit said.
“God not only gave Martin a lot of gifts and a lot of talents, but also guided him to use them in a special way,” Harbstreit said.
Mumaw was one of the few men that had earned the public trust, Harbstreit said. But it was the three deputies that worked at the treasurer’s office that Mumaw talked about the most.
“There were three girls that he loved to death,” Harbstreit said. “I can’t begin to tell you how much he trusted them.”
Holtsclaw said in his sermon Mumaw was the kind of person that personified worship.
“Martin understood that he was a steward of his time, talent and treasure,” Holtsclaw said. “He understood what worship was. Worship was daily life.”
He went to say Mumaw personified two “S’s,” service and shenanigans. Those who were fortunate to know Mumaw knew he appreciated a good joke, and when a good joke was played on him. But in the end, Holtsclaw said Mumaw was a “quiet leader.”
“He liked to be behind the scenes,” Holtsclaw said. “He was key to so many friendships.”
A procession of deputies from the Daviess County Sheriff’s department lined the way in a honor guard.
He was laid to rest at Walnut Hill Cemetery in Odon.