Martha Lou Reith, age 80, passed away peacefully in Scottsdale, AZ on January 22, 2020.
Martha Lou Reith, “Marty” was born March 14, 1939 in Concordia, MO, to Paula Schlueter and Walter Reith. She had two older brothers, Jim and Doug, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, who also lived in this small and tight-knit German-Lutheran community. She was baptized and later confirmed in her faith at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and graduated from Concordia High School in 1957.
Marty’s life-long career and passion was nursing. She trained at Trinity Lutheran School of Nursing in Kansas City, MO, where the student body elected her President of the Student Council and “Miss Trinity,” an acknowledgement of both her scholarship and leadership. She also had a case study published in the Missouri Nursing professional journal while still a student. After graduating from Trinity in 1960, she worked for three years at Trinity Lutheran Hospital as head nurse in the new-born nursery.
In 1963, with the encouragement of her brother Jim who had already moved west, Marty relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona, where she spent the rest of her life. From 1963-1967, she was staff nurse and assistant evening supervisor at Mesa Lutheran Hospital. She then transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix where she worked for more than 30 years, including staff nurse positions in ICU and ER, clinical nurse in out-patient dialysis facility, and finishing her career doing outpatient teaching and pre-admission testing of surgical patients. Marty was always “patient-centered” and received many positive evaluations and accolades for her dedication to her profession. This dedication was often at the expense of her own health, and she retired in 1996, largely because of the physical wear and tear nursing had taken on her body.
Despite Marty’s challenges with pain and mobility, she always maintained her “can-do” attitude, joyful optimism, and loving personality. She enjoyed traveling, shopping, eating out, getting her hair done, and decorating for special occasions. She shared many long and dear friendships with her nursing colleagues and remained a person of faith until the end.
Marty wants all to know not to be sad and, in her words, “I will be in a far better place and have no pain, no cane, walking straight.”
Marty was preceded in death by her parents Paula and Walter Reith and her brother Jim Reith. She is survived by her brother Douglas Reith (Warrensville, MO), nieces Stephanie Reith (Portland, OR) and Theresa Leyes (Scottsdale, AZ), and nephews Christopher Reith (Tucson, AZ) and Craig Reith (Higginsville, MO), step-nieces Shari Gordon (Ann Arbor, MI) and Heather Dobbs (Morristown, NJ), as well as by several great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, sisters-in-law, and many loyal and loving friends.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 15th, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, 3901 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018.
For providing such patient, competent and compassionate care during Marty’s last years, we wish to thank: the care team of Hospice of the Valley; the caregivers at Desert Flower, Sweetwater Pines and Mimosa Springs; Pastor Arnold Frank of Christ Church Lutheran (Phoenix), and Marty’s dear friend and companion Hazel Kauffman. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Marty’s memory to Christ Church Lutheran or to Hospice of the Valley.
Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com