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Maartha's Story

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Dr. Martha Katherine Spurlin Grise, age 80, widow of Robert Newman Grise, died on August 8, 2017, at her home of natural causes.
She was born in Richmond, the second of three daughters of the late Thomas Jefferson Spurlin and Allie Ruth Moores Spurlin, both of whom were descendants of Fort Boonesborough pioneers. She received her early education from Madison County Schools, graduating in 1953 from Model High School, where she was President of the Senior Class and spoke at graduation. She earned a bachelor's degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College, a Masters Degree from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.
She joined the English faculty at Eastern Kentucky University in 1967 and remained there until her retirement. She was instrumental in introducing anglophone African literature into the curriculum. During her tenure at EKU, she was the faculty adviser to the Cwens (now Lambda Sigma) sophomore honor society. She served several terms on the EKU Faculty Senate and chaired the senate in 1985-86. She was a member of a number of professional associations, including the Modern Language Association and the Shakespeare Association of America.
In addition to her formal schooling, Dr. Grise was also a student of parliamentary law, attaining the rank of Professional Registered Parliamentarian in the National Association and serving as the President of the Kentucky Association of Parliamentarians.
During her retirement, she became a fine photographer, winning recognition for nature photography at events across the country. She and her husband traveled to 45 countries on five continents, where she honed her skills by taking images of everything from butterflies to rhinoceros.
She is survived by: two sons, Robert Owen Grise and his wife Debbie of Richmond, and David Presley Grise and his wife Gina Underwood of Louisville; seven grandchildren, Leigh Grise Koetsch and her husband Geoff of Lexington, Emily Grise and her husband Tim Young of St. Louis, MO, Robert Grise and his wife Tara of Florence, KY, Abi Grise of Dallas, TX, Irla Grise of Louisville, Chris Foreman and his wife Caitlin of Lexington, and Alex Foreman of Richmond; two sisters, Barbara Perkins and her husband Marvin of Richmond, and Carol Knaus and her husband Steve of Kinderhook, NY; and two great-grandchildren.
A private family service will be held Monday, followed by public visitation from 2 to 4 p.m. at Oldham, Roberts & Powell Funeral Home in Richmond. Burial will follow in the Richmond Cemetery. Grandchildren will serve as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Grise-White Scholarship Fund at Eastern Kentucky University.
To express condolences, visit our website at www.orpfh.com.
Published on August 10, 2017
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