Martha Loraine Wellborn Smith of Silver City, NM died at her home on November 11, 2017 due to complications from pulmonary lung disease at the age of 87. Memorial Service will be held at Bright Funeral Home Chapel on Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 11:00 am. A private burial will be held at a later date.
Martha was born in Santa Rita, NM to a pioneer Grant County Family. Her grandparents moved to the Silver City area in the 1890's, where her grandfather ran the dairy for Fort Bayard and her grandmother was a prominent mining woman. Martha's mother Vangie was a career educator who graduated from New Mexico Normal College and her father Pat worked in the mining industry. Martha spent her early years in Fierro, NM and mover to Silver City at the age of 7. Martha attended NMSTC Lab School and graduated from New Mexico State Teachers College High School in 1949. Martha attended Arizona State College for one year where she played on the volleyball, softball, basketball and field hockey teams. She then transferred to New Mexico State Teachers (WNMU) and competed in WRA athletics, graduating in 1953.
Martha began her 30 year career as an educator in Bayard, N.M. She returned to teaching after her son started school in 1958 and taught at Stout Jr. High in Silver City until her retirement, teaching PE, science and history.
Martha had a lifelong interest in sports. She had the opportunity to attend multiple NFL and NCAA football bowl games, the Super Bowl, 4 NCAA Final Four's, multiple PGA tournaments and Ryder Cups. She attended the 1954 "Hoosier" state championship game between underdog Milan and Muncie Central. During UCLA's historic run in the 60's, Martha never missed watching a game, staying up to watch the tape delay and then teaching the next day. While serving on the Silver City Recreation Board, Martha assisted in the formation and building of the Scott Park Golf Course, now the University Course. Martha was active in the Woman's Golf Association and annual Mr. & Mrs. Tournament for many years. In 1991, Martha was inducted into the WNMU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Upon retirement, Martha and Jim were able to travel and to haul her grandsons and other junior golfers to many area and national golf tournaments.
Martha is survived by her husband, Jim Smith, her son Kim Smith (Cindy), grandsons Tirey (Calleen) and Christopher (Michelle) and great grandson River James Smith all of El Paso, TX. Her nieces Charlotte Anne Ellingson (Drew) of Albuquerque, NM and Marsha Palmer of Bent, Oregon, and nephews Jonathon and Michael Stermer and A.J. Ellingson.
Martha was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur (Pat) and Evangeline Wellborn and her sister Charley Palmer and brother-in-law Joe Palmer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the WNMU University Foundation in honor of Martha W. Smith. P.O. Box 1158, Silver City, NM 88062. Bright Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, "Traditional Services and Care for your family and friends", 210 W. College Ave., Silver City, NM 575-388-1911. Remembrances can be made at www.brightfuneral.net