In memory of
TUSCALOOSA - Mary Helen Ellis Martin, age 88, died Saturday, September 1, 2018, at Hospice of West Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Mary Helen, known to her family and her wide and varied circle of friends as "M.H.", was born February 11, 1930, in St. Clair County to Willie and Ott Ellis, who preceded her in death. In 1950, she graduated as an R.N. from Jefferson Hillman school of Nursing (UAB) and began her nursing career at University Hospital in Birmingham. It was there that she met her future husband, George Martin. They were married April 26, 1952, and had been married 55 years when he died. Over the years, the Martins lived in Bessemer, in New Haven, Connecticut, and in Homewood before moving to Tuscaloosa in the early 1990s. Mary Helen joined University Presbyterian Church, with which she was very active, and continued her membership at UPC successor Grace Presbyterian Church. She was a Master Gardener, seamstress, painter, bridge player, and avid reader who was active in Friends of the Library. She followed politics closely, holding strong and definite beliefs that she could and did, communicate in no uncertain terms. A delightful conversationalist, she could discuss the Watergate Trial in detail, tell you who was leading in a given weekend's golf tournament, or give easy-to-follow instruction on the care of any flower. But her most special talent was being a cherished Mimi to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She could entertain preschoolers for hours with just a roll of blue painters' tape and plastic Easter eggs and play "beauty parlor" to get hair washed without tears. Survivors include her daughter, Nancy Shields (Dennis); granddaughters, Ellison Uzzell (Ben) and Rebecca Cressaty (Patrick); great-grandchildren, Cameron Milo, Avery Cressaty, Wilson Uzzell, Nora Uzzell, and Frances Uzzell; beloved brother, Norman Ellis; nephews, David Ellis and Ben Ellis (Kristi); and nieces Emily Ellis, Janet Ellis McAdams, and Susan Thomas (Hugh). Special love to Bill and Janis Porter, Tricia and Jim Ford, Bill and Grace Long, Shirley Laney, Liz and Wayne Laney, Bobbie Scalici, Denise Barbaree and the rest of the Martin family; she enjoyed your calls and visits so much. Also, a huge thanks to Misha Greer, Jeri Zemke, Beth and Walter Thames, Elizabeth Kent, and Amy Anderson for your sweet friendship. And, finally, a truly heartfelt thank you to the wonderful people at Pine Valley Retirement Community, the nurses in CICU and DCH, Dr. Gene Allredge, Dr. Regina Harrell, and Dr. Kamal Raisani for the care provided. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, September 10, 2018 at Grace Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa, with visitation and a reception after the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church, Hospice of West Alabama, or the Alabama Wildflower Society.
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