Martha Ann Howland Roe died peacefully in her sleep from cancer on February 6, 2022 at the age of 87. Born in 1935 in Scott City, Kansas, Martha was the oldest child of five and was raised by her parents, Theodore and Mabel Howland. She was valedictorian of her graduating class at Rocky Ford High School and matriculated to the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned a degree in microbiology. She met Garland Roe at CU and accepted his proposal of marriage when he was serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. They married in 1957 in California and later settled in Denver, Colorado.
Known as Marti to her friends and colleagues, she directed the microbiology laboratory at Children’s Hospital in Denver and provided essential scientific and managerial support to the hospital’s nationally renowned research in pediatric microbiology/virology. She was certified as a Medical Technologist and Microbiology Specialist by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, and she was a member of the American Society for Microbiology. Marti co-authored 27 publications and taught pediatric microbiology courses throughout the United States.
The Roes were early members of Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver, and Marti served as a deacon, an elder, and Mission committee member; she was especially impactful as liaison between Wellshire and Schmitt Elementary School. When Garland suffered a significant spinal cord injury, Marti took over his care and used her microbiology know-how and her love to care for him for decades in their home. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Warren, her sister Carol, and her son Curtis. She is survived by her husband Garland, her daughter Rachel, her son-in-law Robert, her granddaughter Heather, her sister Judy, her brother Maurice, her sister-in-law Mary Ann, and many devoted relatives and close friends from Children’s Hospital, Wellshire Presbyterian Church, Gaylord Street, Rocky Ford, and all the other places she took the opportunity to make friends. She will be remembered as a cheerful, positive, reliable, and sincere person as well as a wonderful cook.
A memorial service will be held at Wellshire Presbyterian Church on February 19th. In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift may be made online at wpcdenver.org/giving or mailed to Wellshire Presbyterian Church–directed to the Mission Committee–at 2999 So. Colorado Blvd., Denver, Colorado 80222. The family gratefully acknowledges the health care Marti received these past few months from the professional staff at Porter Hospital, Clermont Park, and Namaste Hospice.
Family request no flowers please.