El Dorado lost a local author when octogenarian, Gail Lee Martin died January 17. Martin, age 88, suffered a heart attack at Wesley Medical Center.
Her memoir, My Flint Hills Childhood: Growing up in 1930’s Kansas, won the 2010 Ferguson Kansas History Book Award. Other writing included a biography of her husband, Clyde Owen Martin. Both books are featured in the Kansas Oil Museum gift shop.
Earlier writings appeared in magazines such as Kanhistique, The Golden Years and Reminisce. An online search for “Gail Lee Martin” reveals an active online presence with stories posted on Our Echo and Squidoo. Martin served as webmaster for the first site encouraging other writers. She served as archivist for the Kansas Authors Club for over 10 years and presented programs at the state convention.
Martin, known for her homemade jams at the El Dorado Farmer’s Market, also won recognition over the years as a 4-H leader.
Born Sept. 13, 1924 in Eureka, Martin is the middle child for Clarence Oliver and Ruth (Vining) McGhee.
She is survived by her sister, Carol Garriott of El Dorado; five children: Owen Martin of Whitewater, Susan Leigh and Karen Kolavalli of El Dorado, Cynthia Ross of Towanda and Virginia Allain of Poinciana, Fla.; and grandchildren, Paul Calhoun, Robin Calhoun, Kristy (Ross) Duggan, April (Calhoun) Wickwire, Nikki (Ross) Teel, Diana (Hyle) Platt, Samantha (Hyle) Noble, and Chhaya Kolavalli. She has eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-granchild.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Clyde O. Martin, her parents, her sister, Melba Harlan; a daughter, Shannon Hyle and son-in-laws, Ronald Calhoun and Larry Ross.
Familyand friends are invited to a celebration of her life on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 430 Eunice, El Dorado.
Donations in her memory can be made to the Kansas Author’s Club.