Martha Cooper MADDUX

MADDUX, Martha Cooper was born Sep. 3, 1947, in Tampa. She died on Monday, June 30, 2014, in her hometown of St. Petersburg. Wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend, Martha also was passionate about public service. She served on the St. Petersburg City Council from 1983-1989. She was actively involved in several local, state and national campaigns, including President Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign, Governor Lawton Chiles' 1990 campaign, and Florida House Speaker Peter Wallace's first legislative race. She taught history at St. Petersburg High School, her alma mater, during its first years of busing. As a civic volunteer, Martha took on leadership roles with the Juvenile Welfare Board, the Florida League of Cities, Leadership Florida, Leadership St. Pete, and Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA). Martha also instilled a sense of service in her children and in those around her. Her passion for life was contagious evident through her distinctive laugh, song, conversation, dance, friendships and faith. Martha's blue eyes shone brightest in Montreat, NC, where she grew up in the summers, making lifelong friendships and continued that tradition with her husband and children, who quickly learned, "If you're a child of Martha's, you'll like tennis, grits and Montreat." Having discovered her artistic side later in life, she has given her watercolors and ceramics to many loved ones. In 1997, Martha was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at age 50. The family is especially grateful to caregivers Tricia DeRussy, Jancy Harvey, Cindy Crockett, and Menorah Manor's competent and compassionate staff. Martha is predeceased in death by her parents, Frank and Grace Elizabeth Cooper as well as sisters-in-law, KK Cooper and Alice Maddux and nephew, Bradford Cooper. She is survived by her husband, Carlen Maddux; son, David (Katie) and daughters, Rachel DeSanto (Sergio) and Kathryn (Jacinta Alves); four grandchildren, Libby, Nelson, Olivia Grace, and Bennett; Cooper brothers, Frank, Andy (Mary Jane), and Emmett (Lea); brother-in-law, Robert Maddux (Isabel); and 10 nieces and nephews. Martha graduated from Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA, and earned a Masters in the art of teaching history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. While on city council, she was a deciding vote to finance and construct what is now the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field. She also was instrumental in helping make city council meetings more transparent via the implementation of TV coverage. Among her involvements and honors are: member of First Presbyterian Church, St. Petersburg YWCA Tribute to Women for 'outstanding leadership and accomplishments', University of South Florida Bayboro campus board of advisors, Outstanding Young Woman of America award, an organizer of the Young Life youth ministry in St. Petersburg, adjunct professor in education and American history at St. Petersburg Jr. College, City of St. Petersburg international relations committee, Gov. Chiles' Growth Management Task Force, Junior League of St. Petersburg board member, Community Vision award by Leadership St. Pete Alumni association, Pinellas/Pasco Task Force on Juvenile Violence, Montreat Conference Center board of directors. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, gifts go to First Presbyterian Church, 701 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701 (youth and outreach activities); OR Menorah Manor Foundation (255 59th Street N., St. Petersburg, 33710; online, www.menorahmanor.org/donate); OR (14010 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, 33762-3862; by credit card, 727-578-2558 x128). A service to celebrate Martha's life and faith will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 701 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2 p.m. www.andersonmcqueen.com

Funeral Home

Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home
2201 Dr. MLK St. North St. Petersburg, FL 33704
(727) 822-2059

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on July 6, 2014