Betty Olive Martin was born August 6, 1921 at Roscoe, MO, to Jeremiah Thomas and Beuna Lillian (Allen) Gentry and peacefully left this earthly life on July 24, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the age of 94, 11 months. She attended Riverview School, El Dorado High School, Southwest Baptist College and Central Missouri State College, were she studied to be a teacher. She taught 8 grades in the one-room school she had attended as a child, with 3 of her siblings as students.
A shy country girl, she traveled alone to Hondo, TX to marry James W. (Jack) Martin of Collins, MO on May 20, 1944. They were married for 69 years, 11 months and 28 days. After their marriage and several training assignments in Texas and Oklahoma, they drove from Texas to Homestead Army Air Base, Florida where he was scheduled to be deployed as a B-17 pilot in WWII. On their arrival, they found people celebrating the end of the war (no radio in their car). After his discharge, they returned to Collins, MO, to buy his father’s farm where they had their 3 children and farmed until drought caused him to move to Kansas City to work in the aircraft industry. Betty was baptized as an adult in the Church of Christ (Temple Lot). She was active in local church activities and loved her brothers and sisters in the church. She remained faithful to the end of her life.
She always longed to return “home” to the farm, but moved often, living in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York, and California. She worked as a substitute teacher (a favorite of several principals) whenever she was in Georgia. She loved teaching elementary students, the younger the better. She was a devoted wife and mother, active in PTA and Officers’ Wives Club, despite her shyness. She was a marvelous cook and enjoyed sewing, reading, and playing card and board games with her children. She enjoyed Royals and Cardinals baseball, Thunder basketball, and learned to enjoy football games on TV.
On Jack’s retirement, she was finally able to return to the farm to live in a new house on the hill she loved so much and she was able to attend her church, be with her brother and sisters, and enjoy the beautiful view across the valley from her living room window. After Jack’s passing, she moved to Oklahoma to be near her children.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 69 years, Jack, her four siblings, Bea, Jim, Bonnie and Dick. She is survived by her 3 children, Mike and wife Sheri, Andy and wife Sharon, and Laura and husband M.G., 10 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren.
While she will be forever missed by her children, other relatives, and friends, we rejoice that she is enjoying eternity praising the Lord in her heavenly abode.
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