Mattie Katherine "Kay" Martin Ellis

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Mattie Katherine "Kay" Martin Ellis, 86, died peacefully at her home in Tuscaloosa after a lengthy illness Wednesday, December 10, 2014. Ellis, a devoted wife and mother and dedicated servant and leader of her community, is survived by her husband of 61 years, Norman Richard Ellis; five children, David Norman Ellis, Emily Katherine Ellis, Janet Ellis McAdams, Ben Eric Ellis (Kristi Lamont) and Susan Elizabeth Thomas (Hugh Rowe); five grandchildren, Jesse Taylor Ellis, Amy Katherine Ellis, Madeline McAdams Thomas, Emily Frances Thomas and Hugh Rowe Thomas III; her sisters, Dorothy Hanvey and Patricia Martin; her brother, V.M. Martin Jr.; beloved sister-in-law, Mary Helen Martin and numerous nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, V. M. Martin Sr. and Cora McAdams Martin and her sister, Sarah Gambill. Born July 17, 1928, in Anniston, Ellis, known as Mattie to her grandchildren and Kay to most others, received both her bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in library science from The University of Alabama. She put both to work in helping to further her husband's career as a professor and national leader in the fields of psychology and mental retardation and in the education of her children and others including by serving as a long-time volunteer and officer of the League of Women Voters, Friends of the Library/Books Sandwiched In, and the former Radio Reading Service of WUAL-FM. She was an avid genealogist, willingly to share her detailed research with member of many families in her beloved hometown, not just her own. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 13, 2014, at University Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa with visitation one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church, for which Ellis served as a food pantry volunteer and an elder, in memory of her true kindness and lifelong commitment to equality and social justice.
Published in The Anniston Star on Dec. 12, 2014