Mary Emily Reily Martell, 91, of Orange, passed away Oct. 16 after a brief illness. She was born July 3, 1920, to Charles and Elizabeth Reily at Fernwood Plantation near Jackson, LA.

Mary and her late husband, Joseph Robert (Bob) Martell, moved to Orange in 1943. They opened a trailer park at 10th and Park as families were moving to Orange to work in the shipyards and building Riverside. Later, Mary was secretary and kept books for Martell Paint and Body Works on Border Street.

She was a P.T.A. member and officer when her children attended Curtis School. While a member of North Orange Baptist Church for many years, she taught a Sunday School class. Eventually she found a church home at First United Methodist where she was a member of the Fidelis Sunday School class and Joy Group and served on many committees.

Mary loved gardening and was a founding member of the Leaf and Petal Garden Club. She was a national flower judge in Orange and around Southeast Texas. Interested in Japanese flower arranging, she studied Ikebana for seven years. She was an avid Bridge player and member of several clubs.

The Antique Study Group was very special to her and she loved her collections and filled her home with beautiful objects. She was named Altrusa Woman of the Year; she headed the American Cancer Drive in Orange for two years and was a member of the Orange Chapter of Eastern Star; A&M Mother’s Club and Sunset Grove Country Club.

Mary had a passion for sports and supported her sons’ many athletic pursuits, which no doubt stemmed from her own athletic endeavors, which included high school track and basketball, and later, tennis.

Mary’s greatest legacy was in the “art of motherhood”. She is survived by her children Barbara Hayes of Tucson, AZ; Ron and Mary Martell of Austin; Don and Beth Martell of Asheville, NC; and Randy and Marilyn Martell of College Station.

Also many adoring grandchildren: Becky and Scott Kirkpatrick of Tyler; Craig and Sharee McCrindle of Tucson; Ryan Martell of Deltaville, VA; Rachael Martell and Peter Karns of Asheville, Justin Martell of Austin; and Kristin Martell of The Woodlands.

Mary leaves seven great-grandchildren: Rachel Peart and spouse, Michael; Mathew Kirkpatrick, Jacob Kirkpatrick and spouse, Callie, Nathan Kirkpatrick, Alex McCrindle, Paige McCrindle and Henry Miller Karns. Also three great-great grandchildren: Charlotte and Annabelle Peart, and Lily Kirkpatrick.

A gathering of family and friends will be held on Friday, Oct. 21, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.

Services will be held at the First United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, followed by internment at Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Orange.

Grandsons and great grandsons will serve as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to be made to the First United Methodist Church, 502 N. 6th Street, Orange, TX 77630.

The family would like to express heartfelt appreciation to her many loyal, dear friends, neighbors, and caregivers.