Frances Kay Martin

December 19, 1938 ~ January 24, 2024 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Frances Martin Obituary

Frances “Kay”(Hively) Martin was born December 19, 1938 in Ivydale, West Virginia to Nellie (Stockwell) and Cary Hively and entered heaven on January 24, 2024. She is preceded in death by her parents, loving husband of 30 years Gene Martin, sisters Sybil McCracken, Barbara Mays, and brothers Ed Hively and Hubert Greathouse, and favorite nephew Martin McCracken.

She is survived by her sister Brenda Argrabrite, nieces Dorothy, Doris, Kimberly, Mary Jane, Courtney, Debbie , Denise , Eddie, great nieces and nephews Jennifer, Kelly, Shannon, Bill, Amanda, Joshua, Martin, Rhys, Tara, Meredith, Lucinda, Marisa, Jeremy, Phillip, Michael and Cody.

Kay never seemed to have a bad day and was known for her positive attitude. She never complained about her health despite all she had overcome. She always found a solution to any situation.

Kay graduated from Clay County High School and attended West Virginia University. After college, she moved to St. Albans and embarked on a successful retail sales manager career for over 20 years. Her career halted when she developed throat cancer losing her voice box. Doctors were astounded when Kay learned to project a raspy voice using a special breathing technique similar to singers to project her voice. She was then asked by doctors and speech therapist to assist in teaching other patients how to speak using her method. This was at a time when most patients with her condition could only speak with a device held to the throat with a microphone. After recovering from cancer, she moved to Ivydale and met the love of her life Gene. Kay and Gene enjoyed a wonderful thirty-year marriage.

Kay was an extremely energetic lady, a talented quilter, cross stitcher, crocheter and owned a thrift shop in Gassaway and video store in Ivydale. Kay loved animals and was dedicated to taking in many rescues and strays. Kay also hosted exchange students from Germany and Brazil as well as fostering children.

Kay volunteered to pick up trash along the highway for several years to honor her mother with a DOT sign, then recycled the cans she picked up and used the money to buy and plant wildflower seeds along the highway. Kay loved animals and provided a refuge for many strays.

Kay traveled to many states throughout her life and loved to sunbath on the Florida and North Carolina beaches.

Thank you to all the kind support people that helped Kay and a special thanks to Bruce Cunningham of Cunningham Motors, Deana Carte of Clay County Bank, Baptist Church of Ivydale and dearest friend Jennifer Martin. She was much loved and so unique – and will be greatly missed.

A celebration of life service will be held mid April.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Wilson Smith Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Martin family.

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