Martha B. Wilhelm-Brandon

Brandon, Martha photo for website only

 Martha (Bishop) Wilhelm-Brandon, “Marti”, of Weymouth passed away on Wednesday, December 3rd after a long illness. Beloved wife of Michael Brandon.  Marti had a long career as stable owner, horse trainer and premier riding instructor, a result of her lifelong love of horses.

She received a BS from Stephens College, a BA and MA in Journalism from Boston University, and then became a flight attendant for Pan American Airlines for ten years, traveling all over the world. During this time she married Larry Sorensen, a pilot with Pan Am. Marti then returned to Sandwich on Cape Cod where she worked with her aunt who ran The Greenbriar Nature Preserve.  This was to slow a pace for her.  She then moved to Iowa and opened Harmony Hollow Stables, becoming a trainer and equitation instructor.  Marti presented horses meticulously and ensured that the riders always did the work themselves; the level of her standards only was exceeded by her insistence on self-reliance.  Her students have gone on to compete and to win at the national and international levels, and some are still doing so today.  After a terrible snowstorm destroyed her barns she moved east and settled in Atlanta, founding Greenbriar Stables continuing to train & show.  She soon returned to the show ring with her beloved Saddlebred IceTea and began winning everything in sight.  After the death of her second husband, she remained at the stables and was joined by Carole Downs.  As a team they showed and won many ribbons over the years.

At the 47th high school reunion in 2008, she met Michael Brandon, her high school beau, once again and then married shortly after in Key West.  In late 2012, a brain tumor was discovered.  She had it removed in GA & shortly after relocated to the Boston area, to be with Michael.  She continued to have cancer treatments.  Her beloved horses Rudy & Hopper (a world champion) were boarded in nearby Duxbury where she continued to ride & drive them.

Marti was more than an instructor to her students and time spent at her stable was never considered ”work.”  She was a mentor, an inspiration and a role model for professionalism and sportsmanship.  Above all, she had a magnetic life force that drew people to her.  Her infectious love of “the beasts,” as she called them, inspired love of horses to her students and dear lifelong friendships among those in her “horse family.”

A memorial service will be at Thayer Academy in the Spring & at the Greenbriar Nature Preserve.  A donation in Marti’s name may be made to Thayer Academy, 745 Washington Street, Braintree, MA 02184 or by visiting as well as to The Thorton Burgess Society, 6 Discovery Hill Road, East Sandwich, MA 02537 or by visiting