Martha K. Kinkel

Honored by:Her children (Kathleen, Patricia, Lesley and William) and grandchildren (Lesley Neff, Billy Kinkel, Jordan Kinkel and Mac Chapman)
Brick location:G:8  map

MARTHA K. KINKEL: B. June 12, 1922; D. March 13, 1993

Kathleen Neff -- "My mother's heroics began in childhood and continued throughout her lifetime. One of twelve children, she grew up without experiencing childhood. Poverty and the premature death of her own mother thrust her into a life of anguish at a young age. She somehow managed to emerge from those harsh early years as a strong, selfless woman who became devoted to her four children. She persevered in a marriage complicated by alcoholism to preserve family life. She battled long and courageously against a debilitating illness of the central nervous system which ultimately took her life. She endured for the sake of those she loved. Mother truly symbolizes a woman of heroic measure.

Patricia Kinkel -- "My mother not only gave me life, she taught me how to live life with compassion, integrity, strength and love. Forced to leave school at an early age, my extraordinary mother was self-taught and passed her love of books and knowledge along to her children. She had a beautiful singing voice, a wonderful sense of humor, and a temper only the bravest soul would attempt to arouse. She was my friend, my strongest supporter, anything I am or hope to be, I am because of her.”

Lesley Chapman -- "Mom's sisters called her Babe-aleen because that's the way her older sister pronounced her middle name, Kathleen, when she was born. I remember the stories my mom told me about her childhood: Walking to school with cardboard in her shoes to cover the holes; being forced to eat bowls of oatmeal in the school cafeteria because she was so underweight; the tragic death of her favorite sister, Francis. Mom’s greatest pride and joy were her four children. She wanted us to have a better life than she did and she did everything to see that we got it. She taught me to be proud and have self-respect, never self-pity.”

William Kinkel -- "When I think of Mom, the thing that stands out in my mind, what is rare and what you don't see very often today, is the sacrifice she made to raise us up. That to me encompasses so many things. She really devoted her life to us. Mom was probably the most honest, straightforward person you could know. She always spoke her mind. I remember her walking me to school and always just being there. When it came to discipline, she was tough. I got so I could outrun her. But she basically taught me I could run but I couldn’t hide. Sooner or later I had to face up to things."

In so many ways, people would look at our mother and think she was just an ordinary woman. But there was nothing in any way ordinary about her. She raised up four really fine children in the most trying circumstances and she made a lasting imprint on each one of us. Her strength, courage, and love seemed boundless. Quite simply the world is not as good of a place without her in it. And so in our way we try to keep her memory and beautiful spirit alive.