Martha King, beloved teacher, activist, matriarch and friend – passed away peacefully in Sarasota, Florida November 29, 2020 at the age of 85.
Born January 14, 1935 in Syracuse New York, Martha (Marty) was raised in Fort Covington NY. During her life’s journey, Martha lived in Ithaca, New York; Ottawa, Canada; Palo Alto, California; and Murrysville, Pennsylvania before retiring in Nokomis, Florida. She graduated from Fort Covington High School in 1951 and attended Cornell University where she received both a Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Studies. While raising her family, she completed additional graduate work, receiving a Master’s in Education from Duquesne University in 1971.
Martha was a dedicated and passionate kindergarten teacher for 31 years, serving in the Pittsburgh Public Schools at McCleary and Dilworth elementary schools. During this period, she was also a member of the Executive Board of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and served on curriculum writing and textbook selection committees. In 1982 she became a fellow in the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh.
An activist at heart, Martha was a committed and energetic advocate for her community throughout her life. While living in Pennsylvania, she founded the Citizens’ Committee for Fair Milk Prices (CCFMP), a state-wide protest organization which ultimately led to the abolishment of the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, a corrupt state agency that fixed high consumer prices while failing to protect dairy farmers from interstate competition. She served as president of the PTA for Delmont Elementary School; founded CAPS, a citizen’s protest group; co-founded Rescue 5, a volunteer ambulance service; co-founded and served as the first president of Pittsburgh Association of Kindergarten Teachers (PAKT), an organization dedicated to best practices in Pittsburgh kindergartens; and was an officer and charter member of the Four C’s, a coalition of civic organizations in Murrysville PA working for better government.
After retiring to Florida, she continued her passion for the arts as a member of the Venetian Harmony Chorus of Sweet Adelines International and as a member of the Venice Art Center. Martha continued her community service as a member of the Worship Committee at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice (UUCOV) and the Calusa Lakes Welcoming Committee & Helping Hands.
Martha is survived by Dr. A. Bruce King, loving husband of 67 years; sisters Susan Gorrow and Caroline Nye, children Kathryn Matysek, Brian King, Dr. Alan King and Greg King; daughter-in-laws Donna Cushing and Yalan King; grandchildren Anne Matysek, Jeff Matysek, Lydia King and Alexa King; nieces Caroline Gorrow and Jennifer Nye; nephews Phillip Gorrow, Jason Gorrow and Phil Gorman; and “unofficially adopted” children Razzak and Donna Memon, Christine O’Reilly, and grandchildren Rafee Memon, Ava and Miles Tiller. Martha was predeceased by sister Janet Grimes, brother Dr. David Gorman, brother-in-law Dr. William Grimes, niece Sarah Grimes and “unofficially adopted favorite son” Eugene Tiller. Her extended family and friends will miss her warmth, friendship and humor.
An online memorial service is being planned with Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice (UUCOV). All are welcomed to join us, please email MarthaKingMemorial@gmail.com to receive details and the link to the service.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to: UUCOV, 1971 Pinebrook Rd, Venice, Fl 34292 Contact information: 941-485-2105, email@example.com
To share a memory of Martha or to send a condolence to the family visit www.farleyfuneralhome.com