Colleen Hay Martin, age 96, passed away peacefully of natural causes in Lone Tree, Colorado, as her beloved son held her hand. Members of her family were present in the final weeks, days and hours of her life on Earth.
Frances Colleen Hay was born on April 26, 1926, in rural Gardner Township, Johnson County, Kansas. She was the daughter of Harry McCall Hay and Edith Eola (Rea) Hay. Her first job after graduation from Gardner High School during World War II was as a stenographer in the Department of Physical Education at the Olathe Naval Air Station. When the war ended, Colleen worked at Olathe High School as a secretary in the superintendent’s office.
She met her future husband on a blind date, and in 1951, she married H Thayne Martin. Thayne served in the Navy as a pharmacist’s mate during the war, and later owned a professional photography studio. In 1952, they bought a new house on the GI Bill in the Maple Crest neighborhood of Overland Park, Kansas. Until Colleen sold her house in December of 2021, it had never been owned or lived in by another family. It’s a good bet that she was the oldest and the last original homeowner in the neighborhood. For many years, the Martin’s two children were members of the Overland Park Trailblazers Drum and Bugle Corps, sponsored by the Dwight Cowles American Legion Post 370. From supporting the Booster Club, driving groups of kids to practice or fundraisers, to cheering the corps from the stands at competitions, it was truly a family endeavor. The parents also saw their children realize their dream of marching in a national champion corps, The Argonne Rebels of Great Bend, Kansas. Realizing the importance of a college education, it was a source of great pride that their daughter completed a master’s degree and their son earned a Juris Doctor degree from KU.
Colleen retired in 1991 after 25 years as an administrative assistant in the Shawnee Mission Unified School District. During their retirement, Colleen and Thayne took to the road throughout the United States and wintered in Arizona. After Thayne’s passing in 1996, Colleen joined friends and relatives on several group tours at home and abroad. While visiting Scotland, she learned about the Hay Clan, and returned with mementoes bearing the family tartan. Her church ministry activities included Meals on Wheels deliveries and serving meals to the homeless in Kansas City, Kansas.
Grandma Colleen was an avid supporter of her four granddaughters’ interests. She attended softball and volleyball games, chorus and band performances, dance recitals and competitions, and high school and professional musical theater productions. Grandma was present at all high school, university and law school graduations, and wedding ceremonies. She truly enjoyed spending time with her grandsons-in-law and loved talking about her great grandchildren. Colleen’s interest in genealogy led to discoveries about her colonial ancestry in New Jersey and Virginia. Mom’s love of travel, literature, history, and experiences from having lived such a long life enabled her, in her own words, to “find something in common to talk about with just about anybody!” Finally, there was never a more devoted fan of KU men’s basketball, as she celebrated their fourth national championship earlier this year!
Colleen was a former member of the American Business Women’s Association and the Dwight Cowles American Legion Post 370 Auxiliary. She was a life member of the Overland Park Presbyterian Church and the Overland Park Historical Society. Others preceding her in death were her brother Wilbur Rea Hay, half-brothers Roy, Carle, and Hugh Hay from her father’s first marriage, and many dear friends and neighbors. Colleen is lovingly remembered by her children and their families: Melanie Martin (Steven) Ginter of Virginia and granddaughters Gillian (Stephen) Weber of Virginia, Meredith (Torrell) Funderburk of North Carolina, and Adrienne (Kellan) Clark of Montana; Dallas Rea (Lianne Taylor) Martin and granddaughter Elise Taylor Martin of Colorado. Colleen also leaves two great granddaughters and two great grandsons.
The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the medical personnel and staff members of Sunflower Medical Group (Dr. Andrea Ely) and Park Meadows Assisted Living in Overland Park; Lincoln Meadows Assisted Living in Parker, Colorado; and Sky Ridge Hospital in Lone Tree, Colorado, for their constant care and support. They also thank Val Babiuch, Funeral Director of Horan & McConaty, in making the final arrangements in Colorado.
A Memorial Service led by Pastor Jason Carle will be held in the sanctuary on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at the Overland Park Presbyterian Church (located at the OP Lutheran Church), 7810 W. 79th Street, in Overland Park. Visitation will take place at 10:30 a.m. with a Service of the Resurrection to begin at 11:00. Private inurnment will follow at Johnson County Memorial Gardens in Overland Park. In lieu of flowers, the family sincerely requests that donations in memory of Colleen H. Martin be sent to:
Kansas Talking Books Advisory Council, 1 Kellogg Circle, Box 4055, Emporia, KS 66801 �
Overland Park Historical Society, 7319 W. 79th St., OP, KS 66204 � Att: Brad Moore, Executive Director