A memorial service for Dr. Mary Ellen Martin-Betancourt will be held on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church in Lufkin, Texas at 3:30 in the afternoon. A reception will follow at the church. Dr. Martin-Betancourt passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 14 at the home of her daughter Katherine Betancourt and son-in-law Edwin Hernandez in Miami, Florida. Katherine was by her side and with Edwin had cared for her for the last five years. Prior to her illness, Mary Ellen's home was in the Ramey community of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Mary Ellen was born on June 30, 1933 in Rocky Ford, Colorado to Charles Frederick Martin and wife Hattie Kerr Martin. In 1955, she graduated from San Jose State College in California and married her college sweetheart, Francisco Betancourt. Two years later they moved to his home in Puerto Rico with their one-year-old daughter, Maria Jose, to pursue their love of teaching, learning, literature, writing and travel while raising a family. Dr. Martin-Betancourt began her teaching career in 1957 at one of the four rural high schools in Puerto Rico. She was one of four staff members at the school in the small town of Florida and taught all the English classes. Over 40 years later, having earned an MA from the University of Texas and a PhD from Fordham University, she retired from a career in education after serving as the chair of the English Department of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. She stayed active by joining the Borinquen Women's Club, the Altrusas, and the Lions Club. Mary Ellen loved her family dearly. She was a woman of many accomplishments and loved to tell of her children's academic and professional accomplishments. With her husband, she took every opportunity to visit her children and grandchildren in several places in the United States and in Europe. Her son, Francisco R. Betancourt is in the Army and son-in-law Edwin Hernandez retired from the Army. Dr. Martin-Betancourt had a writer's ear and eye for detail. She enjoyed sharing what she had seen, experienced and learned in both written form and spoken form inside and outside of the classroom. Her love of literature expressed itself in the way she picked out books for family members to read. She would consider their interests and spend hours researching the possibilities. Mary Ellen is survived by daughter Maria Betancourt-Smith and her husband Wayne Smith of Huntington, Texas; daughter Katherine Betancourt and son-in-law Edwin Hernandez of Miami Florida and their children Edwin F. Hernandez and Gabriella Maria Hernandez; son Francisco R. Betancourt presently in Afghanistan, his wife Sonia Bonet currently in Rhode Island, and their son Francisco Carlos Betancourt; and brother-in-law Ted Fletscher of Medford Oregon. Her dear sister, Kay Martin Fletscher, preceded her in death as did her beloved husband of 49 years, Dr. Francisco Betancourt. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Lufkin, the Wounded Warrior Project or a
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Published in The Lufkin Daily News on July 28, 2013