Martha E. Wallen
Martha Elizabeth Flowers Wallen, 86, of Kerrville died on Feb. 2, 2019, at Brookdale Senior Residence in Kerrville.
She was born on Oct. 12, 1932, in Uvalde to Louise “Doll” Turner and Milton Lee “Mitt” Flowers.
She was the youngest daughter in a family of eight, and she lived in Uvalde for the first 20 years of her life.
She graduated from Uvalde High School in 1950, and from Southwest Texas Junior College in 1952. She played flute and piccolo in the college marching band, and the family says she was especially proud of being a majorette. Photos from that time show her muscular legs from walking miles up and down football fields while twirling the baton or playing the flute. She had a great passion for music throughout her life, especially appreciating songs by Frank Sinatra and Neil Diamond.
She married Edmund James “Jim” Wallen, whom she referred to as “Jaime” on Feb. 7, 1953, in Uvalde. The couple had three children, whom she loved dearly. Today would have been the couple’s 66th wedding anniversary.
He worked for Phillips 66 Petroleum Company for 50 years. The couple lived in more than 25 locations, traveling as doodlebuggers, seismic oilfield personnel, in locations from Mississippi to Texas and from several small Louisiana towns up to Nevada. In 1971, they moved to Lagos, Nigeria, and began a period of several years of living overseas, including in Lima, Peru, and Cochabamba, Bolivia. They developed many deep and lasting friendships during these times.
In 1975, they settled in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where she began her own career and became an assistant vice president at Westar Bank. The family says this was a highlight of her life.
In 1991, they retired to Kerrville where she began years of volunteering, but most important to her, Wallen found her voice as a writer. She wrote two memoirs, “The Flowers of Batesville Road” and “Amy’s Family.” She wrote to her three children weekly for as long as she was able, and in recent days was still communicating via emails.
The family says she was a true Texas woman, feminine and gentle, but had the grit to get through the toughest challenges. She always wanted to look and be at her best, with a bright, always-ready smile that was as wide for waiters at Brookdale Senior Residence as it was for the people she held most dear. She stayed in touch with friends from her traveling days and from Kerrville until her death; they helped give her strength.
Wallen is survived by her husband, of Kerrville; two daughters, Suzanne Wallen of Arlington, Massachusetts, and Amy Lambert and husband, Eber, of San Diego, California; one son, Martin Wallen, and wife, Linda, of Stillwater, Oklahoma; sister, Edith “Dede” Flowers Ferguson of Corpus Christi; four sisters- and brothers-in-law: Gene Ellen Nixon and companion, Wroe Lynch, of Brackettville, Sandra Burk of Sandia, Gloria Sablatura and husband, Bobby, of Mathis and Tommy Wallen and wife, Sheila, of Angleton; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A private service was held yesterday at Brookdale Senior Living Residence in Kerrville.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Dietert Center, 451 Guadalupe St., Kerrville, TX 78028.