Martha Joe Hale Brown

For Martha Joe Hale Brown, everything was about family. She started taking care of children at a young age, helping her younger siblings. Then came her own four children, 12 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. She died Friday at home with her family.
Almost 80 years old, Martha was born September 13, 1938, in Marlin to Joe Henry and Tennie Louise Hickox Hale who lived in the nearby community of Odds. The family moved to Galveston and Houston during WWII before returning to Odds, where Martha started to school with her mother as her teacher first through fourth grades. The family moved just a few miles away to the Spunky Flat area, closer to Marlin. In the fifth grade Martha attended the Criswell School with her mother her teacher for the last year. The next four years Martha was a student in Marlin. After her father died in 1953, the family moved to San Marcos, where Martha graduated from high school at the age of 16 in 1955.
She married Norman Brown in San Marcos on October 1, 1955. They lived in Pasadena and Nederland in the early years, with later times in Holland and South Korea. After the family moved back to Dayton in 1966, Martha worked at various insurance companies including Odell, Jamison-Martin, Steve Stephens and Hall-Rader. She was a member of Lambda Alpha Sigma.
Survivors include her husband Norman, four children and their spouses: Nancy and Troy Baker of Liberty, Dale and Michele Brown of Dayton, Jo and Randy Riley of Dayton, and Susan and Brett Addington of Dayton. She is also survived by two sisters and their husbands: Dorethea and Bill Norville of Pasadena, and Mary and Eddy Etheredge of Kyle as well as her sister-in-law Barbara Hale of Huntsville and brother-in-law Bernd Dittrich and his wife Terry of Rockport. Another survivor is her sister-in-law Charlene Brown Montee of Cleburne.
Her surviving grandchildren are: Melissa Norcross Wolf, Stephanie Norcross Stanley, Megan Baker Matula, Joshua Brown, Mollie Baker Walker, Ryan Baker, Travis Addington, Jessica Brown Bevel, Randi Kay Riley Jordan, Morgan Riley Choate, Scarlett Addington McCarty and Sam Addington.
The great grandchildren are Lane Pantalion, Joey Bevel, Bailey Walker, Michael Bevel, Grant Wolf, Reid Wolf, Avery Parker, Sophie Baker, Aiden Baker, Blaire Stanley, Emmalyn Walker, Georgia Wolf, Hudson Jordan, Amelia Brown, Sutton Brown, Walker Stanley, Clara Brown and James Brown. This group includes four sets of twins.
Martha was predeceased by her granddaughter and son-in-law Erin and Gary Westmoreland as well as her parents Joe and Tennie Hale, her brother Charles Hale and her sister Katherine Hale Dittrich.
Visitation will be Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home. The funeral service will be Monday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, before burial in the Magnolia Cemetery in Dayton. Martha’s eight grandsons-in-law will serve as pall bearers. They are Ryan Wolf, Bret Stanley, Sean Matula, Brandon Walker, Jason Bevel, Josh Jordan, Taylor Choate, and Jacob McCarty.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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