Maxine Kelley Martin, of Mabank, Texas, spent much of her life away from Oklahoma, but she always considered Tulsa to be her hometown. She was born Aug. 20, 1924, in Kansas City, Mo., but moved to Tulsa as an infant and graduated from Tulsa Central High School. At age 19, she graduated from the University of Tulsa (Class of 1943) where she later taught business administration. She also taught at the University of Arkansas after her marriage to Richard L. “Dick” Martin in 1948.
Dick and Maxine celebrated their 62nd anniversary Aug. 7, 2010, in Steamboat Springs where the couple enjoyed spending their summers. They maintained a membership at Southern Hills Country Club as they rotated between their main residence on Cedar Creek Lake in Texas, their beloved townhouse in Colorado and a family home in Tulsa.
Maxine is survived by her husband; her three children, Richard K. Martin, of Dallas, Janelle Martin Madeley, of College Station, Texas, and Daniel C. Martin, of Tulsa; a stepdaughter, Diane Poff, of Roanoke, Va.; 13 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by one grandson. She will be remembered as a devoted wife, loving mother and adoring grandmother.
All those who knew her will have fond memories of her quick wit, strong opinions and zest for life. Maxine loved people of all ages and especially loved to share her healthy cooking tips. She was an excellent cook, always adjusting recipes to make them more nutritious by substituting healthier ingredients without sacrificing taste.
As a legacy to her grandchildren, Maxine left each child a personal recipe box with all of the family favorites as well as her nutritious original recipes. Included in each box is the recipe for her famous cornbread, which, according to family lore, was the “reason that Dick married Maxine,” thereby starting the magnificent family that she nourished.
During their married life, Dick’s career took them to the East Coast and then across the Atlantic. The couple started their life together in Fayetteville, Chicago and Tulsa. As their family grew, they moved to Benghazi, Libya; New Canaan, Conn.; Tripoli, Libya; Marsa el Brega, Libya; and finally back to Tulsa before they settled in Texas in 1987. Maxine recalled that they moved seven times in eight and half years, four times overseas. As Dick was transferred with his job, Maxine was left to coordinate the moves. Her keen mind led her to be the detail person in their marriage. Even at 86, Maxine maintained her mental acuity, doing their taxes every year, including their 2009 return.
In years past, Maxine was a member of the 9-hole golf group at Southern Hills Country Club and had been active with Phi Mu Alumnae and with the Assistance League at the University of Tulsa before their move to Texas. She was a master bridge player. Dick and Maxine made a formidable team whenever they participated in their duplicate bridge groups in Texas and Colorado. As recently as summer, they received high honors in several tournaments. Dick was always the aggressive bidder, but luckily Maxine could play a hand better than almost anyone. In bridge as well as in life, their love and companionship was based on complementary talents and mutual respect and understanding.
She will be greatly missed because she was greatly loved. The love she spent her life showing is reflected in her family and the fond memories they will carry in their hearts. This was a life well lived.
Dick Martin’s address is 66715 Evanston Circle, Tulsa, OK 74136, for those who want to share condolences.