Mary “Kay” Martin passed away one week shy of her 102nd birthday surrounded by her family. She will be remembered as an ardent family woman, successful business owner, vibrant community member, engaging artist, and friend to so very many. She was a beautiful person inside and out, caring deeply about the people around her.
Born on July 27, 1921, at the family farm near Griswold, IA, Kay was the daughter of Mary Redmond and Theron Robert Gittins. An Iowa girl, Kay grew up attending school in southwest Iowa. In 1938, at the age of sixteen, she graduated from high school as Class Valedictorian. Kay graduated from Red Oak Junior College and was promptly hired by Kerrihard Company as a secretary and office manager.
While living in Red Oak, Kay met her husband Jay Martin, a partner in Martin & Sons, a local feed and produce business. Married in 1941, they lived on acreage bordering the city and began raising their sons. After a move to Chillicothe, Kay and Jay then settled in Lower Lake Trenton where they owned and ran several Town & Country stores. During retirement, the couple enjoyed their home on Upper Lake Trenton where the growing family gathered for anything and everything. After Jay™s death, late in 1993, Kay continued to reside in Trenton until 2020. At the time, she moved to Ankeny, IA to be close to her son John and his wife Susan.
For more than 25 years, Kay was actively involved in Trenton™s community. She served as vice-president on the Friends of the Jewett Norris Library Board, a deacon for the First Christian Church, and took art classes at North Central Missouri College; they waived her tuition at age 95! The lunch bunch met each week until Kay outlived them all at which time the Friday Night Gals originated and began to meet weekly for dinner.
A loving, devoted, and cherished mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Kay™s family came first. She is survived by three loving sons and adoring daughters-in-law “ Larry (Linda), John (Susan), Kevin (Judy), and Rita; eleven devoted grandchildren “ Beth (Kevin), Matt (Amy), Laura (Diego), Jason (Amy), Jessica (Mike), Ian (Abigail), Andrew (Meredith), Alison, Shane (Michele), Eric (Ashten), and Brent; and eighteen inspiring great-grandchildren.
Preceding Kay in death were her parents; brother, Edward Gustafson; sister, Ruth Ellis; cherished son, Kim; and beloved grandson, Michael.
Special thanks to the caregivers at Regency Assisted Living, Norwalk, IA. Kay™s body will be cremated. No services will be held. Memorial donations in Kay™s name may be made to the First Christian Church of Trenton (1700 Princeton Road), the Grundy County-Jewett Norris Library (1331 Main Street), or the Art Department of North Central Missouri College (1301 Main Street). All are in Trenton, MO 64683.