Martha Turbeville Merkle


Honored By

Honored by: Turbeville, Pamela J.
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Leaf Tile, Small

Holbrook High School, 1931 - 1935
University of Arizona, 1935 - 1937
Phoenix College - AA Degree, 1955

Graybar, Inc.
Pipe Trades & Air Conditioning
A.S.U. Music Department: Started as Chairman's Secretary and retired 12 years later as the Events Coordinator

Gamma Phi Beta (Active Alumni)
P.E.O. (Active - 50 year member)

Phoenix Art Museum
A.S.U. Retirees Association
From her Arizona pioneer roots, to her world travel, Martha Turbeville Merkle gracefully assumed a diverse array of roles since her birth in 1918. The oldest daughter of a rancher, an Arizona pioneer, Martha was born and raised in Northern Arizona splitting her time between her life in Holbrook and her life on the Z-Bar Ranch, a working cattle ranch, which had no electricity, plumbing or other comforts. She helped compile a lot of her experiences in "Memories of the Z-Bar Ranch" written in 2003 by her brother, John Henning Turbeville.

After graduating from high school, she went to the University of Arizona where she was not only a good student, but was active in Gamma Phi Beta and other campus activities. During this time, she was named "Miss Navaho County" in 1936. Martha represented the county in the Miss Arizona pageant and did some modeling.

Martha moved to Phoenix, got married, had four sons and worked for a wide variety of firms. Ultimately retiring from the ASU music department as the Event Coordinator.

While this is fairly common today, Martha started this decades ago when juggling multiple roles was no so common.

The results of the 58-year marriage were four talented, educated sons with families of their own and a lot of grandchildren.

During the later years, she acted as the primary care giver for the Father, who died a century after his birth, and her husband.

Throughout her life, Martha has traveled the world, first with her husband and now with her friends and has been an active volunteer in sororities PEO, Phoenix Art Museum and the ASU Retirees Association, to name a few. These outside interests combined with being a matriarch of her family and her strong, rancher roots, and her life-long love of learning, Martha is a vibrant 85 year old. A role model for younger women and men.