Martha Freeman Reed, a longtime active member of the Wood River community, passed away on Friday, Nov. 8. She had long suffered from a debilitating decline in her physical condition—including symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, from which her father had also suffered. Martha was 73.
Martha was born and raised in Springfield, Mo., the daughter of Francis Ferguson Freeman and Flavius “Doc” Bennett Freeman. She received a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction at the University of Missouri and was awarded the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa award. She also earned her Certified Financial Planner degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City’s Graduate School of Business.
After college, Martha settled in Kansas City where she worked as the assistant art director at Hallmark Cards. She spent several decades involved in supporting a wide range of community efforts including serving as the chairman of the board of the Children’s Mercy Hospital and as a member of the board of directors of the William Rockwell Nelson Gallery of Art. She was an accomplished businesswoman, a dedicated mother and a member of the Country Club Christian Church.
Upon moving to the Sun Valley area, Martha quickly became an active member of the local community, dedicating many years of service to the philanthropic endeavors she cherished. She served as the president of the board of the St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center Foundation from 2001 to 2004—raising millions of dollars to provide a facility with top quality medical care for Wood River Valley residents and visitors. She had a particular passion for mobilizing funding to provide an MRI machine and to enhance the women’s health facilities at the hospital.
Martha also served as the president of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in 2010 and remained an active member of the board of directors since that time. She was passionate about the role the symphony and the new Pavilion played in the cultural enrichment of the valley community. During her tenure, the community enjoyed performances from varied world-class talent such as Itzhak Perlman, Garth Brooks and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with guest conductor Alasdair Neale. She also served on the Pepperdine University board and on the Board of Overseers of the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Public Policy.
Martha is survived by her husband, Travis Edwin Reed; her daughter Elizabeth Collet Funk; and her son John Caskie Collet III and his wife Colby Grimes Collet; and grandchildren Bennett Dean Funk, John Caskie Collet IV, Caroline Elizabeth Funk, Whitney Gibson Collet and Peter Ferguson Collet. She is further survived by her brother Samuel Freeman; stepchildren Travis Edwin Reed III and Ann Reed Norton; her husband Gregory Wayne Norton and their children Abigail Wilder Norton, Katherine Brittingham Norton, and Reed Gregory Norton. Her sister Mercedes Freeman Smith and her stepdaughter Cristina Marie Reed preceded her in death.
Services will be held at noon on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Sun Valley. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to honor Martha’s memory to the St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center Foundation Women’s Health Department.