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1951 Martha 2023

Martha Kate Downey

March 6, 1951 — August 2, 2023

Martha Kate Aikin Downey
March 6, 1951 - August 2, 2023.
Martha Kate passed away after a prolonged illness on August 2, 2023. She was born March 6, 1951, in Hereford, TX to Melissa Ruth (Ramsey) and John Douglas Aikin. Martha Kate was a devoted mother, devout Christian, prolific artist, and published author. Being around her gladdened our hearts.
Martha Kate grew up in Hereford, TX where she met and married (David) Dennis Downey on June 19, 1970. Together they attended Texas Tech, where she received her Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1973.
Martha Kate’s career began as caseworker and foster home recruiter for MHMR. There she also crafted compelling artistic submissions used in marketing campaigns for foster child programs.
The family moved to Temple, TX in 1978, where she focused on raising her two children. While in Temple, she further pursued her interest in advertising and eventually attended a stained-glass art class, inspiring her to design and produce stained glass windows.
In 1990, the family moved to Euless TX, where she formalized her Glass by MK business, completing larger projects with a special emphasis on church and religious designs.
When Martha Kate got involved with something, she was unstoppable. She was an educator and fierce advocate for children and adults with special needs. In the 1980s, she provided part-time educational instruction, teaching life skills and critical decision classes at Bell County high schools and Temple Junior College.
When she began home schooling her daughter, Kate, she also took on an integral role in curriculum development for Grapevine, TX schools, with a special focus on teacher training for summer programs in creative writing, reading, and math. She began writing and illustrating books about her experience raising a special-needs child and shared her lifelong travels with God.
Martha Kate succeeded due to her ongoing faith and desire to serve whether speaking publicly about autism and special needs, coaching Special Olympics basketball (despite never having played), or advocating for legislative improvements for all ages and abilities through her Steps to Support for All association. She also founded Come Read With Me - a lifelong learning and therapeutic center that supported challenged adults to read and develop a multitude of life skills. With all that Martha Kate achieved, her favorite job these last few years was that of grandmother, sharing her love of gardening, dogs, and horses with granddaughters Anna and Laura.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Jim. She is survived by her husband Dennis, daughter Kate Downey, son David and wife Susan Downey, granddaughters Anna and Laura, and brother Jack Aikin.
Memorial services will be held in the Richland Hills Christian Church, Richland Hills TX at 10:30 am, August 26, 2023. All are welcome.
Donations may be made to Come Read With Me (crwmtx.org) or a charity of your choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha Kate Downey, please visit our flower store.

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