Dorothy Ruth Gipson was born in Wynne, Arkansas on November 29, 1918 the oldest of 3 children born to John H. Gipson and Nora Bell Fluker Gipson. She was raised in North Little Rock, Arkansas. She attended Dunbar High School in Little Rock where her father was a math teacher and from which she graduated at age 15.
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Dorothy attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri where she met her future husband, Dallas Aaron Martin. After graduating with a degree in English and a short period of time as an elementary school teacher, she and Dallas married on July 18, 1940. For a few years, they moved around the country as Dallas pursued a career with Radio Corporation of America (RCA).
Dallas and Dorothy had three daughters: Marcia, Jeanne, and Deirdre. Shortly after Deirdre’s birth, the family moved from Chicago to Pelham, New York where they built their home (both literally and figuratively!) and where Dorothy began a career in social work.
In July 1961 the Martin family relocated to Altadena, California. Dorothy returned to college to receive a Master of Social Work (MSW) from USC. Her career as a psychiatric social worker/licensed clinical social worker included working with the families of adolescents at County/USC Medical Center as well as The Pasadena Child Guidance Clinic. Even during her so-called “retirement years,” she conducted numerous in-service trainings to professionals who provided care for senior populations.
Dorothy’s service to the Pasadena /Altadena community was extensive as a board member of the Pasadena Senior Center and Pacific Oaks College and activity with the YWCA. She was also a member of the Pasadena Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a charter member of The Pasadena/Altadena chapter of The Links, Inc.
Historic First Lutheran Church in Pasadena was the church home where Dorothy served in many capacities throughout her 50+ year membership.
Dorothy Martin was a guiding light and inspiration to all who knew her. Her love of music and dance endured until her death at age 101 on April 22, 2020. She is survived by her daughters Jeanne Buckley and Deirdre Larkin-Tingstrom; her sons-in-law, Edmund Buckley and Edwin Tingstrom; 7 grandchildren, affectionately known as The Magnificent 7; 14 great-grandchildren; and many cousins.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish may direct donation to the following: Pasadena Delta Foundation, P.O. Box 93552, Pasadena, CA 91109 or Historic First Lutheran Church, 808 N. Los robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103-4317; Memo: In Memory of Dorothy G. Martin