Martha Rose Roth
August 23, 1947 – May 8, 2020
Martha Rose Roth, nee Prichard, nee Kriss, the “Yellow Rose of Texas,” passed on to her eternal rest in her 72nd year. Martha was blessed to spend 20 years with Bob Roth, the love of her life and best friend. They enjoyed being with family above all else with many hours enjoying surviving son Jeremy, wife Kelly and granddaughter Lorelei; son Kevin , grandson Ezra; son Colin and love of his life Amber and grandsons Carter and Bennett; granddaughters and adopted daughters Skyeanne and Cailin; step daughters Sonya, Angie and Kelly, her husband Marc, granddaughters Zoie and Keelie and stepson Rob. She lost her daughter Megan to Cancer and thought of her every day.
Martha’s friends were many and she touched lives of more than 10,000 students, Reeves Middle School staff, and Olympia School District staff.
Martha was born in Fort Worth, TX, but spent most of her life as a Washingtonian. Raised in Renton, spent her summers in Livingston Montana with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. She graduated Cum Laude from Seattle University and then earned her Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Puget Sound. Proud to call Olympia home for forty years, Martha dedicated her life to her career as an educator - spending more than twenty years as the principal at Reeves Middle School.
Martha’s Catholic faith was ingrained deeply, and she personified the ideal of turning the other cheek. Knocked down many times, Martha always picked herself up with a smile and a hope-filled heart, never a bitter one. She was selfless to a fault and took on the burdens of others, accepting them as her own. People were drawn to her and her warm and generous spirit. As her family, we knew she could never just “run to the store” – she knew everyone, and, if she didn’t, they wanted to get to know her. A quick trip to the gas station would later result in her recounting the life stories and struggles of the new friends she had just made.
Though she knew so many, one of her greatest joys was to get away with her coffee klatch and while away the hours, laughing and telling stories with her dearest friends. To the last, she desired to stop by and see them for a “drive-by wave.”
Born to the open road, she loved nothing more than getting behind the wheel and driving. Just driving. Seattle. California. Montana. The Oregon coast. Kansas. Flying to Florida and driving from Jacksonville to Cocoa Beach to Key West. It didn’t matter. Just the open road, and some tunes - the music she grew up with. From the Andrews Sisters to the Beatles, music was ever-present . She loved to dance in the kitchen and sing in the car.
She and Bob would walk for hours and miles in San Francisco, NY, Washington DC, London, Paris, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Rome, Key West, Maui, Cocoa Beach…
Martha was a woman with a particular sense of style, both in her dress and in her housekeeping. She had an outfit (with a matching set of earrings and a brooch) for every occasion, and her home was decorated impeccably for every holiday and season.
It is for all of these reasons and so many more that we will miss Martha, Mom, Grandma, our Yellow Rose and Bob’s love of his life. The world is a better place for having known her, and is a little sadder with her passing.
Martha Rose Roth
August 21, 2021
It's hard to put into words what Martha has meant in my life. We met at Seattle U in our early days there. Her sense of humor was what drew me to her in the first place. I always laughed when I was with Martha. We eventually shared an apartment with 2 roommates on Capitol Hill and life was good.
Over time we both got married and had children. When she moved to Olympia to teach it wasn't as convenient to stay close. We started meeting in Federal Way for breakfast every three or four months and continued to share the ups and downs of our lives.
These days so many things remind me of Martha. Shopping for clothes at Macy's, we used to analyze and laugh at some of the styles so, of course, I think of her whenever I'm at Macy's. When I'm swimming, I remember skinny-dipping with her one night on a beach at Lake Washington. I think of her poached eggs for breakfast when I'm eating breakfast out. I have so many wonderful memories.
Martha was one of the best parts of my life and I will always love and remember her.
June 1, 2020
Martha loved me and I loved her for 20 years. Our joy was shared every day from beginning to end and powered our sharing life with family and friends.
May 31, 2020
My sweet, kind, intelligent, caring cousin,,,,we always called you Miss Sunshine whenever you visited the farm. A ray of light! You were always so prim and proper but so down to earth,. I love you and will miss your cards and visits to Montana,,, until we meet again cuz!
Mike and Marilyn McCann
May 29, 2020
Just kidding around with Martha. Mike McCann: I first met Martha on the first day of St. Anthony’s grade school in Renton 1953. The teachers were the Sisters of Charity order of nuns from Boston. They wore long black hooded, starchy clothing. Not only were they very prim and proper, but also they were very strict. In the class of 60 or so boys and girls, Martha stood out because she was always pleasantly smiling. Most of the boys figured that can’t last as we tried our darnedest to upset her apple cart. At the end of that first day, she was still smiling, just as she was at the end of that school year along with 8th grade graduation.
In those days the nuns used to turn us loose at recess to run around the school yard. I could never figure out why, but Martha preferred staying in the classroom helping the teacher and getting to diagram sentences on the blackboard.
She had a way of moving that was quite unique. Her walk was an ultra-smooth gliding stride which seemed she was walking on air.
Very annoying to the boys, she was a real goody two shoes, always super-friendly and polite to a fault. Her excellent behavior made the boys look pretty downright awful by comparison. Oh, the countless times we had to hear those nuns say the works, “Now why can’t you boys get yourselves to behave more like Martha?”
Marilyn McCann: I met Martha at St. Anthony school reunions I attended with Mike. I found her to be smart, friendly, practical and clear-thinking. She was positive and open to new ideas and honest in her opinions. I never heard Martha speak negatively of a person. We both enjoyed her and will miss her sunny smile.
May 29, 2020
This was a family reunion back in 2013 in Livingston Montana. Martha and I used to share our summers together at our uncle & aunt's ranch in Paradise Valley. Martha seemed to be ageless. We sure will miss her.
May 27, 2020
I had the pleasure of knowing Martha when I met and married Bob's brother Joe over 12 years ago. She was soo sweet and had such a calm demeanor regardless of the situation .Always smiled and gave you her full attention when you spoke to her. She and Bob were an inspiration by the Love they showed for each other every day. She is helping someone in Heaven now because that is what she did. This lovely Lady will be surely be missed by all.
Shannon and Jerry Miller
May 26, 2020
We share a grandson,,Martha and I,Ezra who is bright and intelligent and is alot like you,the day he was born,we held each other and wept tears of joy!
I will keep you in my heart ❤,Grandma Martha!
May 26, 2020
I am so fortunate be have been a part of Martha's life. She really was an amazing mother and friend to all. I learned so many things from her during the time I was blessed to spend with her. She was full of beauty both inside and out. She leaves behind a true legacy and was loved and admired by so many ♡ Rest in Paradise.
May 26, 2020
Martha was such a kind, gentle, lovely lady. I am so happy she came into Bob's life and they truly were soulmates. She had a keen sense of style and an unexpected sense of humor that often had me laughing uncontrollably.
She will be missed greatly.
May 26, 2020
I was fortunate to call myself a lifelong friend of Martha. We first met when she was a teacher at Washington Middle School in 1977...she taught kids who were gifted and I taught kids with behavior concerns.
We got our administrative credentials around the same time and both left Olympia to pursue opportunities as administrators. Martha returned to OSD after a year or two to be principal at Reeves. I moved to Issaquah. We continued to get together...one time meeting at Denny's for breakfast that turned into lunch! We spent 6 or 7 hours in the booth and never left...it was so good to catch up and we had so much to cover...our kids, changes in our lives and of course, our jobs.
We both ended up single at the same time, something neither of us ever expected. We both had ads on Love@aol.com. I remember the last ad that Martha received. She had been discouraged by some of her responders and was thinking she was going to take down her ad. When I read his ad, he seemed perfect to me. She decided to reply, ended up going on a magical date, and several months later was engaged to the love of her life! Bob was absolutely the perfect person for her. They were married and combined their children to form one big family, supporting and encouraging all their kids to be the best they could be!
I moved several times and Martha was always my constant...whenever I was near Olympia we would connect and it was like we had never been separated! We shared many of life's most important events. We were colleagues and professionals committed to making the world better for kids. From colleagues we grew into lifelong friends.
When Martha got sick, she managed to keep her amazing smile, her soul-seeing/connecting eyes, and her comforting hugs. She was my very good friend and I miss her.
May 26, 2020
I first met Martha 20 years ago when Bob bought brought his beautiful life to Florida to meet his family. We decided to rent canoes to paddle the Rainbow River. It was during that canoe trip that I witnessed an incredibly strong woman. Throughout the years. I realized she was not only physically strong, but she was also emotionally strong and one of the most giving people I've ever known. She will be missed.