Ora Webster DeConcini-Martin

Areas of Achievement: 
Community Building

Honored By

Honored by: Dennis DeConcini, David DeConcini, Danielle Thu, Dino DeConcini
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Freestanding Bench
Honored by: Thu, Danielle
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Engraved Paver, Small
Honored by: DeConcini, David
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Engraved Paver, Small
Honored by: DeConcini, Dennis
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Engraved Paver, Small

Ora DeConcini-Martin was born Ora Webster in Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona in 1907. Her pioneer parents had traveled with cattle and household belongings from St. George, Utah to the Pima Valley. Her mother, aged twelve, rode bareback helping herd the cattle through the desert and across the Colorado River. Ora was the youngest of eight children, four of whom survived to adulthood, and the first to be delivered by a doctor on the kitchen table.

Ora went to the local two-room school, then to Gila College, and for her freshman year to BYU, transferring to the University of Arizona. Upon graduation in 1930 she taught at Mansfeld High. In 1932 she married Evo DeConcini, a young law student, who later served twice as Attorney-General, and was appointed Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. Their four children distinguished themselves in public service in Arizona and in the national government in Washington D.C. After Evo's death she married Morris Martin, an Oxford and Princeton professor.

Ora was prominent in community affairs, social and political, was a founder of the League of Women Voters, Democratic precinct committee member for thirty years and served on the Democratic National Committee in Washington for eight years. She was a founder of the Newman Society Sustaining Board on the University of Arizona campus and was chosen as Arizona Mother of the Year in 1978. In 1990 she was honored as outstanding philanthropist for her support of the Pio Decimo Center, the Tucson Symphony, the University of Arizona, and for her gift of a library to Salpoint Catholic High School.

Her four children, thirteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren were her greatest joy. She had been received into the Roman Catholic Church in the 50s, and on her 90th birthday received the Papal Medal Pro Benemerenti for her services to the Church.