OBITUARY

Martha Jane Heard

June 20, 1928February 12, 2020
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Martha was born in Texas City, Texas, June 20, 1928 to Clinton Leon and Esther Fory Williams and passed away February 12, 2020 at the age of 91.

As a Methodist Minister's daughter she moved often and attended several schools in Texas, but was able to make friends quickly and easily because of her loving and warm spirit. She graduated in 1945 from Alvin High School at the age of 16. She had the highest grade point average, but because she had not attended the school long enough she was unable to be named Valedictorian. At family gatherings everyone wanted "granny" on their team for Trivial Pursuit. After high school she attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Her senior year she was named "Miss Southwestern". She later continued her education obtaining a master's degree in guidance and counseling from what is now Texas A&M Commerce.

As an adult Martha had a gift of encouragement, she was active in the churches in which she was a member and often taught adult Bible classes and played the piano for her Sunday School department. Martha's faith was most important to her and she often spoke of it to her family. We will all miss Granny's love, encouragement, kindness, wit, laughter and sweet spirit.

She was married for 52 years to J. L. Heard, Jr. They moved to Canton in 1956 from Cleveland, Texas, and both worked in the Canton ISD for many years. Martha taught for 32 years. First, high school English and, then as the Canton high school counselor where she touched and encouraged many lives. Martha was active in several organizations including Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Colonists, Van Zandt Historical Society, Jamestown Society, Study clubs, Delta Kappa Gamma and the Genealogical Society. She won many Blue Ribbon awards for her photography and poetry. She was an accomplished pianist and flutist and was a wonderful story teller, teacher and program presenter at many area organizations.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, J.L. Heard; grandson, Don Earl Whatley; and son-in-law, Don Whatley.

Martha is survived by her six children. Daughter, Martha Lynn and Larry Parker; daughter, Nancy and Keith Tucker; daughter, Judy Whatley; son, J.L. and Elisa Heard, son, Jon and Kristen Heard, son, Cary and Melody Heard. Also survived by 11 grandchildren; Hollie Reininger, Lindsay Wiemers, Matthew Whatley, Lauren Pinson, Zachary and Jason Heard, Parker, Mallory and Brooks Heard, Peyton and Jackson Heard. Martha, is survived by 7 great-grandchildren and sister, Esther Ellis. Martha had requested that Dr. Michael Burns officiate her service scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, February 16, 2020. Interment will be at Haven of Memories Memorial Park in Canton. Family will receive friends at 2 p.m., one hour prior to funeral service.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, February 16, 2020
  • Memorial Service Sunday, February 16, 2020

Memories

Martha Jane Heard

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Jeff Hilliard

February 18, 2020

Great lady, great family. She will be missed by the many people who’s lives she touched. God’s blessings to her family. Sorry I missed her home coming.

Lance Douglas Gutierrez

February 18, 2020

I was so blessed to have Mrs. Heard as my counselor the year I entered high school. It was her LAST year before she retired (I wondered if I had anything to do with that decision!) I thought it was extra-special, because she was the only faculty member who had taught all three of my parents (Dad-Jim, Mom-Kay, Step-Dad Larry Etheridge) when they were in high school. As the counselor, I don't know how she did it. She arranged the schedules of every single high school student and helped them to decide their own personal trajectory according to their goals, aspirations, and God-given gifts. For me, she was such an immense source of encouragement. I didn't enjoy school at all. Today they call it bullying, but back then, it was just kids being kids, but it tormented me, and I was miserable. Mrs. Heard helped me deal with all that stuff, and I'm sure she did the same for many. In fact, I have no doubt that Mrs. Heard saved countless students from plans to run away, do something violent, or even take their own lives. For me, just to see her in the hall and have her smile and say "hello there, Lance" would make my day brighter. Looking back, I realize, of course, that all of her qualities were simply the fruits of the Spirit because she belonged to Jesus Christ. And although I was scared to death of MR. Heard, it's safe to say that Mr. & Mrs. Heard influenced the lives of thousands of students for the good, and their legacy continues on in all of us who were blessed to be their pupils.
My prayers are for all of the family, and especially Nancy. I love and miss you all. Remember this is is just a temporary separation for those of us who know the Lord. God bless and comfort you all. Lance Douglas Gutierrez, & on behalf of Kay Douglas Etheridge.

Danette (Chaney) Hart

February 16, 2020

Mrs. Heard was one of the sweetest ladies I have ever known. She had the patience & wisdom like no other. When I was a Freshman in high school (1974-75) I spent more time in her office crying over a boy older than me, who didn't like me, than I did in my first period class. She was amazing! May God's sweet Spirit comfort all of the family & loved ones at this time.

Kay Rogers

February 16, 2020

Without a doubt, one of the best teachers ever! One of the kindest, most considerate, compassionate and talented ladies I've ever known! She will always have a Special Place in my heart!

Julie Garrett

February 14, 2020

Precious lady who was a blessing to all. I will always remember her kind soul, grace, and wisdom. Prayers of comfort for family and friends.

Charlene Fowler

February 14, 2020

I am so sorry to hear about this! I loved her. She was always the sweetest person when she came to get Payton or Jackson. Sweetest smile. Always reminded me of my grandmother! Prayers for your family.

Paula Stringer

February 14, 2020

Prayers being said for your family during this difficult time. Your mom was a very gracious lady and had a beautiful smile. I have fond memories of being at your house when we were kids. May God give peace and comfort during the days ahead.

Kenny Thorn

February 14, 2020

Always had a great smile & attitude,
Great Lady

Barbie Stuart

February 14, 2020

I will always remember Mrs Heard as she was such a sweet and kind lady with a beautiful smile.

Mike Burns

February 13, 2020

A very special lady! Always pleasant and a smile on her face. Heaven gained a gracious angel. RIP Mrs Heard.

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