Mary Louise Martin
December 12, 1927 – January 3, 2021
Mary Louise (Ewing) Martin, a native of Baytown TX, died in her sleep on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021.
Mary (often known by those in Baytown as Mary Louise or “Mar-louise,” and she was known to her grandchildren as “GrandMary”), was 93 years old. She is the daughter of Otis L. Ewing of Dallas TX and Helen Hinga Ewing of Kalamazoo MI, born on December 12, 1927 in Baytown. She attended Anson Jones elementary, Baytown Junior High School, and Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown.
In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her husband Robert L (Bob) Martin and sister Doris. She and Bob met when they both worked at Humble Oil, were married on April 11, 1947 and spent 67 years wonderful years together.
She is survived by three sons: Ken (Baytown), Don (Austin) and Andy (Plano). Also Ken’s wife Randee King, son Nathan (Baytown), daughter Shauna and her husband Clint Dacus (Midlothian) and their children Daxon, Sullivan and Brynn; and daughter Kaitlyn and husband Jacob Jahner (Littleton). Also Don’s wife Susan Anthony, and his children Aaron (Seattle), Clara (Fort Worth), and Cameron (San Antonio). Very special relatives include, Helen Barrett and Johanna Barrett, Lee Walkup, Karl and Jeff Martin, and Peg Shepard.
Mary lead a very full, vibrant, bright, fun and interesting life which she lived to its fullest. She was involved in book reading groups, higher education lectures, and was an avid reader on a wide variety of subjects. “My books are my treasures” she wrote on the inside cover of many of her young adult books.
She delighted in hosting “howl at the moon” parties at their ranch in Kerrville and in Baytown, many confused and puzzled kids in the neighborhood flocked to her house one summer evening to see if Mary really could “jump over the moon,” as she had boasted. And she did.
She and her husband and their children travelled and lived in England, in the “New Forest” area two times, and one time in New Jersey. She especially enjoyed living in England. In retirement they also lived on a ranch near Kerrville (Agarita Ranch), and in Austin.
In Baytown, she was also very involved in national and local politics. “Feisty” is the term that comes to mind. She recruited three people to run for the Goose Creek Independent School District and, against all odds, ran their three successful campaigns - in support of ending segregation in Baytown schools. She was involved in state Rep and Democratic Congressional races (including Joe Allen and Bob Eckhardt), and fondly tells the story of marching with the Rev Martin Luther King where she got lightly teargassed. She had strong beliefs and followed up on them with personal action. She threw herself into such endeavors and fought to win, leaving a lasting legacy of political involvement for her kids and grandchildren. Her son Kenneth was elected to the GCISD School Board many years later.
She was involved in a number of philanthropic enterprises and was a regular donor to many groups ranging from the Sierra Club to Planned Parenthood as well as many local charities and worthwhile organizations such as the Baytown Opportunity Center. For a time she and Bob had a small foundation for their charities.
Everyone who knew her has a favorite GrandMary story or memory to tell. Friends and relatives are invited to please leave their lasting or most interesting story or memory.
Due to COVID restrictions, no immediate service is planned. In lieu of flowers or donations, please leave a message about Mary on the above web page, or donate to the charity of your choice.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Mary Louise Martin
January 14, 2021
Mary was actively involved in the civil rights movement. Early on as our small Southern town reluctantly started to integrate the schools, she decided to send her youngest of three sons to Harlem Elementary. Harlem elementary was predominantly black, as well as the surrounding neighborhood was predominantly black.
One day after she picked up Andy from school, they stopped at the small grocery store that serviced the all-white, affluent neighborhood they lived in. As Mary was at the meat county, she noticed a woman asking Andy a question. Mary could not hear what she asked but heard Andy said “peach” after he thought about it for a while. When they got back in the car, Mary inquired about what the lady asked him. Andy innocently said the lady asked, ‘What color is your teacher’. Mary just smiled and chuckled to herself. I love her for that reaction. It was a great story she told me after I was an adult. I loved that story so much I asked her to tell it to me several times over the years.
January 11, 2021
I have so many fond memories of GrandMary- house sitting on Burnett bay while I was in high school and hearing about her grand adventures upon her return; learning about gewurztraminer wine (learning how to say it too) in her wine cellar; GrandMary fussing at the horses, at the yellow house, with her hairbrush while they licked her car; and so many more laughable times together! She was a big part of my life for so many years. She will be greatly missed. My condolences to Ken, Don and Andy and to all of your families.
January 10, 2021
Aaron, I found this picture of you and GrandMary and GrandBob at the Joshua Creek hunting lodge in Boerne. Mom and Dad drove over from Kerrville to see us and have a wild game dinner with Axis Venison with green peppercorns. I bet you remember it as well as I do. She loved dinner at Joshua Creek.
January 10, 2021
I have vivid memories of the time I was able to spend with my grandmother 'grandmary' growing up. Some of my earliest memories are at the Kerrville ranch and exploring the country with her. She would indulge all the adventurous desires of her city-kid grandchildren, from wading up the creek, to chauffeuring us around the fields in old farm golf carts, to howling at the moon at night (which I still don't claim to fully understand to this day). She was always patient, despite our hardest efforts sometimes, and enjoyed the humor in the mundane little things. This included a flair for dry sarcasm, which I didn't really appreciate until much later in life. There's many quirky and loveable idiosyncrasies she carried that I know rubbed off on myself and my family as I think back on them.
I'm incredibly grateful to have been able to spend the time I was able to with her and her influence on the world around her to this day.
January 10, 2021
Ken, and family..
My condolences in the loss of your Mother. Her obituary speaks volumes of her wonderful spirit, and values. She left a great legacy for her family, and friends.
Take care, and God bless !
January 10, 2021
I ran across this photo of Mom and Dad and thought I’d share it.
January 7, 2021
I met the woman who would eventually become my mother-in-law later in her life. But her still-vivacious spirit made an indelible mark on me.
It’s amazing how a major catastrophic event can have a silver lining. Hurricane Harvey was the event that enabled me to get to know Mary Martin. Ken and Don had a prearranged plan that if a hurricane was heading for Baytown, they would meet up and Don would take her back to Austin to his house to weather the storm. When her assisted living facility was in danger of flooding (and it did) and had to be shut down quickly as Hurricane Harvey was bearing down on Baytown, Ken picked her up with the belongings that the facility had hastily packed and met Don and me halfway to take her to his house while Ken rushed back to Baytown to prepare their house for the oncoming storm. This was quite an unsettling event for an 89-year-old to handle, but Mary’s positive attitude served her well as she adjusted to her new living arrangements.
She lived at Don’s house for several months as Baytown recovered from the storm. Many nights at dinner (with a glass of wine and some prompting from us), she would regale us with tales of her colorful life. I was fascinated by them and Don also learned many surprising things about his mother during this time! She would often end by saying, “We sure had a lot of fun, didn’t we, Don?”
The biggest honor she gave me was to tell Don that I was “a firecracker” and she apparently mentioned many times that he should marry me. I am very glad he took that advice from the spunkiest “firecracker” of all.
January 6, 2021
I loved Mary's quick wit and the ever-present twinkle in her eye. I will never forget when Bob and Mary were considering a move to Austin. I was showing them a home to consider and when we entered the primary bath and saw mirrors from floor to ceiling surrounding the tub, Mary quipped with a laugh "I do not need to see that much!" Bob and I agreed and had a good laugh. She was very dear to me.
January 5, 2021
A quick political memory. Mom decided to take on the school integration issue and the entrenched segregation forces in Baytown and so she recruited three candidates for school board and ran all three campaigns (and won). A few days before the election she got a tip that the City planned to pave the street in front of the black polling location. On Election Day. She stormed down to see the Director of Public Works who assured her had no such plans and would never do such a thing. 7:00 am on Election Day and here comes a fleet of City trucks and paving machines putting down hot tar in advance of asphalt paving all down the road. (Parking for voting is across the street from the polling place.) Mom was quickly in front of the trucks and stopped them, then told the almost exclusively black workers what they were doing. The had no idea and they soon joined her, came down from their trucks and provided paths to cross the road, and putting down boards. Disaster avoided. FYI the segregation proponents included business leaders, school officials, many parents, and the newspaper, The Baytown Sun.....so much so that the Sun ran a front page editorial about her group calling it a “communist conspiracy trying to take over our schools.” Fortunately the voters were not so concerned.
January 5, 2021
Mary was so fun, and always created an exciting time for us in Baytown. One of the many memories was how she helped us learn how to “go crabbin’ ’” and then , how Bob would barbecue those crabs!
But also, Mary Louise inhabited her body in an exciting way: she and I screeched across Texas from Baytown over to Austin, and she turned up the radio that was playing a song, maybe by Jerry Jeff or maybe by Waylon;”Love me like, love me like, love me like THUNDER!!!” And, of course, Mary Louise’s foot was then heavy on the gas, and we were off! Such fun!!
She was the embodiment of fun, and excitement and vitality for me. She lived life to the fullest. Her spirit will be missed, but my God, what a spirit! What a spirit!
There are just so many wonderful Mary Louise stories! She was most certainly loved by her Yankee cousins.
January 5, 2021
Just a note that I (her son Don) posted the obit on my Facebook Page and have received over a hundred comments in 24 hours. Some fun stuff to read, and would enjoy you posting there as well. https://www.facebook.com/don.martin.austin
January 5, 2021
Aunt Mary was an “influencer” in my life in many ways. Having her be part of my life as a child has had an immeasurable positive effect on my life growing up. Having a loving and interesting adult in a child’s life that sees your uniqueness and treats you as a special person does wonders for contributing to becoming a well-adjusted adult. I feel fortunate I had her in my life growing up.
As an adult, Aunt Mary was an inspiration to me in so many ways. As I reached middle age, she was almost a peer (but still Aunt Mary) which we shared many nice conversations together. I enjoyed her perspective on many things.
Aunt Mary, you will also be in my heart and a part of me.