Martha Parks McKinstry, 86, passed away on Sunday, February 14, at Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville. A resident of Oak Ridge since 1943, Martha was born in Cleveland, Tn., on April 30, 1929.
Martha was in the first Oak Ridge High School graduating class and attended the University of Tennessee prior to starting her career at Union Carbide in 1948. In her twenties, Martha worked in Carbide's Nuclear Physics Library and became the Engineering Records Department supervisor at the Y-12 plant, a status perhaps made inevitable by her intelligence and wit, combined with remarkable industry, kindness, and beauty. A current employee in the ICU unit at Parkwest who interned at Y-12 in the mid-fifties recalls that Martha was "such a good supervisor and so pretty" and that "everybody liked her and wanted to do a good job for her; she was just that kind of supervisor." She earned full retirement benefits from Carbide/Martin Marietta at age 54 and afterwards was able to enjoy thirty-two active years of living. In those many years she especially enjoyed traveling with husband Mac, gardening and enjoying nature, spending time with children and grandchildren, and taking good care of a succession of resident and visiting doggy pets, including Tippy, Tucson, Patches, and most recently Jack, whom Martha rescued five years ago through SARG (Shelter Animals Rescue Group) and who now resides with Martha's daughter, son-in-law, and their own doggy children Archie and Max. A true animal-lover, Martha (with husband Mac) also enjoyed a wonderful pet cat, Boris, in the seventies and eighties, before her many years of caring for an assortment of very lucky dogs.
Martha was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge.
Martha was preceded in death by husband William Lawrence "Mac" McKinstry; parents Robert G. Parks and Ruth Taylor Parks; and brother, Robert G. Parks, Jr. She is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Bill Randolph; son, Doug; grandsons, Josh Reynolds (and wife Melissa Norton) and Adam McKinstry; great-granddaughter, Ida Sojourner; Bill's sons, Randy, Dean (and wife Krissa); great-grandson, Alexander Dean Randolph; and her three beloved nieces, Laura Parks Carr, Marty Parks Colwell, and Mary Parks Stier.
A private memorial service will be held, pending announcement. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to SARG.
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Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.