Martha Jane Ross passed away Friday, February 9, 2018 in Wichita Falls, Texas, at the age of 90. Born Martha Jane Griffey on April 30, 1927 to Hallie Burton Griffey and Bess Bailey Griffey, she was the oldest of three children, growing up in Booneville, Arkansas and graduating from Booneville High School in May 1945. She attended Arkansas State Teachers College (now The University of Central Arkansas), graduating in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in Education.
After graduating from college, Martha married her high school sweetheart, George J. Ross, Jr. on August 28, 1949 in Booneville, where she taught school for four years. Moving with her husband to Wichita Falls in 1953, Martha continued to teach until the birth of their daughter. She later went back to teach at Fain Elementary and then after many years taught again at Fannin Elementary.
Martha loved being a wife, mother, and homemaker. Lively, talented, and creative, she was an excellent seamstress and enjoyed cooking, baking, knitting, sewing, quilting, gardening, antique collecting, and other creative pursuits such as painting and ceramics. An avid bridge player, she played every week in the same group for over 60 years. Martha enjoyed traveling with her husband in their Air Stream trailer, and learned to co-pilot and land George's plane. She and George were happily married for over 65 years until his passing March 2015. They loved Arkansas Razorback football and attending Midwestern University's basketball games.
Martha and her husband George grew up together and both they and their families have always been members of the Methodist faith. She was a member of Saint Mark's Methodist for ten years and then belonged to Wichita Fall's First United Methodist Church for over 50 years, where she was active in the Fidelis and later All Saints Sunday School Classes, nurturing her passion for Bible studies. Active in Women's Society of Christian Service, Martha was also a founding member of Chapter EA PEO Sisterhood.
She is survived by her daughter Mary Ross Bennett and husband Jeff of Alpine, Texas, brother H.B. Griffey and wife Delores of Booneville, sister-in-law Mary Nell Taylor and husband Charles of Wichita Falls, and beloved nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband George and sister Betty Jo Griffey O'Hara of Grand Junction, Colorado.
A private family burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, Booneville. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Wichita Falls, First United Methodist Church of Wichita Falls, or a charity of choice.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lunnscolonial.com.