On Saturday morning, June 18, 2011, Martha Flury, our dear friend, WDCTA State Board member, Kettle Moraine chapter president, and tireless cheerleader and friend of WDCTA, passed away after valiantly fighting cancer for the last year.
The WDCTA state board is deeply saddened that Martha lost her battle to cancer, and we’d like to share a few words of remembrance and memories of Martha with our entire membership.
Martha’s obituary noted that she loved horses. Our interactions with Martha on the WDCTA State Board showed us how Martha was also deeply committed to education for equestrians -- helping people develop better riding skills and acquire information that would enrich their relationships with their equine partners.
Pam Doolittle, WDCTA State President, spoke to Martha in early June, the day before she was up for another round of chemotherapy and radiation, targeting the cancer growing in her lungs.
"She sounded great, and was working toward the goal of being well enough to attend the Kettle Moraine chapter schooling show in August," says Pam. "She loved our club, horses, the principles of dressage--those were the things that helped her focus forward. She remained committed to her role as Kettle Moraine President, skyping in for our State board meetings even in her last few months, and providing feedback on our bylaws discussion. I feel honored to have known such a dedicated, positive and principled individual. I will miss her."
Karin Steffens, UP Chapter President, agrees about Martha's unwavering commitment to WDCTA when she says, "Our chapter members would like to extend our condolences to Martha's family and friends. She dedicated herself to WDCTA until the end of her life. She was a long-time board member who was actively involved in WDCTA affairs. We are thankful for all she did for our organization."
"What I remember most about Martha was her smile, determination and principles, " says Caryn Vesperman, eQuester newsletter editor. "When ethics and behavior were at stake, she simply stated, that wasn't right, and here's what we're going to do. Then she'd smile and dig in to organize our next steps. Her enthusiasm and determination really helped keep us motivated when, at times, it would have been easier to just go home and ride our horses. Because she cared, we cared."
Stephanie Severn, WDCTA webmaster, says, "I'm very sad to hear of Martha's passing. She was wonderful to work next to on the State Board, very inspiring and motivating. She always brought a lot of energy."
All the state board members agreed Martha's determination and dedication was impressive and humbling to them.
"At a time when many seriously ill people withdraw from outside involvement to focus on themselves, Martha instead maintained her work with commitment to WDCTA," says Chet Thomas, WDCTA Member-at-Large. "She was such a determined, strong lady--both in her desire to beat her illness, and in her dedication to both a sport and the horses she loved."
Concludes Donna Thomas, WDCTA Librarian and Southwest Chapter President, "Through her commitment to educational programs for equestrians, Martha really went to bat for our organization at a difficult time in its history. In so doing, she helped ensure the continuation of WDCTA, for the betterment of the sport of dressage in this region. She's a real hero in our eyes for her efforts in that regard."
Martha, we are all better for knowing you.