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Dr. Kathrine Martinez-Graham

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Dr. Kathrine Martinez-Graham Obituary
Kathrine Martinez-Graham, educator, mentor, lifelong learner, prayer warrior, seamstress, world traveler, Sock Monkey and Boxer lover, died on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, after a three year battle with lung cancer. Kathrine was born into a military family on Oct. 17, 1958, in El Paso, Texas, living mostly in that vicinity and Germany as a young girl. She excelled in school -- especially science and athletics, holding state records in Texas, North Dakota and Colorado, and was the youngest girl to win the Annual El Paso Golf Tournament. She attended Cavalier High School, Cavalier, N.D., but graduated from Aurora Central in 1976. She received the first Senatorial appointment for a woman to West Point Military Academy after being courted by every military institution as well as many other universities. Kathrine was a lifelong learner and teacher who studied and taught middle school mathematics to gifted and talented students, theology, communications and national security. She was finishing up her second doctorate when illness made that pursuit impossible. She was especially proud of her work creating the Communication and National Security minor in Comm Studies at NMSU. Her students were her life and when cancer stole her voice, she underwent a risky surgery in order to teach just one more semester. Kathrine traveled extensively all over the United States and Europe as a child, Army wife, with the American Red Cross, in her national security pursuits and sometimes for pleasure. She enjoyed many trips with her sister's family, with Disney World being her undisputed favorite. Searching for "Hidden Mickey's" took on new meaning with Kathrine recently overjoyed to find "Hidden Mickey's" in ultrasounds of her legs just weeks before she left us. We imagine one of the first people she will look up in heaven will be Walt Disney. Kathrine took cues from no one and lived her life on her own terms. Purple Doc Martin boots and Navajo belts weighing as much as she did, with camouflage shorts and a T-shirt sporting an X-ray of a Teddy bear were frequently her look. Fishing, hunting, woodworking and computing were enjoyed as much as photography, cooking, tailoring, quilting and knitting. Nothing was pursued casually but painstakingly researched and mastered. When asked recently to describe herself she simply stated she was "an INTJ, if they were familiar with the Meyers-Briggs methodology." But that didn't begin to describe this complex person. True to form, she was a warrior to the end, beginning a grueling but promising drug trial at University Hospital in Denver, which thankfully brought her closer to her family who cared for her to the end. She hoped her contribution might help others fighting this horrible cancer. She found her strength in God, her parents, Alex and Dorthy Martinez, sister, Beth (Dave) Martin, her nieces, Amy (Paul and daughter Vivian) Regalado and Rachel Martin, sock monkeys, her beloved boxers B.I.L.Y. & Challah, New Mexico State, fishing, her adobe home in New Mexico, banana beujolais, and growing anything out of the ordinary and with little real function. A scholarship fund to benefit students of the Communication Department at New Mexico State University can be contributed to through her sister Beth at [email protected]. Her family would especially like to thank Dr. William Adler and his caring staff at the MMC Cancer Center who managed to miraculously stretch the original 6-9 month prognosis to over 3 years. More thanks to Dr. Thomas Purcell and his team at UCH, the caring staff at PVMC, the 11th Floor team at University Hospital, Halcyon Hospice, Elizabeth, Ana, Rodrigo, Rick, Isaac and so many others. We jammed every possible experience we could into our time with her and we thank all of you for the priceless memories we have. They will have to suffice until we see her again. Private family services will be held at a later date. Tabor-Rice Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Mar. 9, 2014
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