Early in the morning on March 14, 2023, Lois Marlene "Marty" Atkins Church ran joyfully into the loving arms of Jesus with a clear mind and a new body. She was born in Kingsport, Tennessee on May 27, 1943. She graduated with a degree in English from East Tennessee State University. She was an only child but was very close to her first cousins who were all very much in each other’s lives.
She was married to Charles Wayne Church and though they were later divorced she credited him for giving her a much loved son, Christopher Ray Church, and a last name that truly suited her. They moved to California where her son was born. She started her career at Pacific Bell and later worked for AT&T. She was very involved with the union and eventually became a Vice President of Communication Workers of America, Local 9400', and was a strong advocate for workers rights.
She retired in 1994 and moved with her roommate to Blue Springs, where they set about finding a new church home, finally trying Noland Road Baptist Church (now part of The Gathering Baptist Church). The first visit convinced them both that this was where God wanted them. She loved the Lord with all her heart and wanted nothing more than to serve Him. She worked with Project Linus, took new member photos, and was involved with the Young at Heart senior group at church. She was delighted to serve several fun years as Queen Mother of her Red Hat group. She found her true calling when she became a greeter at church. She took great joy in welcoming others into God's house.
She was preceded by her parents, Willard and Maxie Atkins (later Meade), her cousin Hal Brown, step-father Bill Meade and step-brother Phil Meade, beloved aunts Helen Ruth and Mary Jane Brown Pack. She is survived by her son, Christopher (Maggie), grandchildren Christopher Junior, Kimberley and Matthew and great-granddaughter Gyanna. Also roommate of 47 years, Beverly Salazar, Bev's children Stephanie (Graham McNicol) and Steven, cousins Dr. Steve Brown, David (Cheryl) Brown, Jeff Brown, Jamey Brown, Lesa (Jim) Haynes and Craig (Kim) Ruth.
She was blessed with a wonderful church family including Gary Fogler, a Deacon who looked after her and her roommate in the past few years as if they were his own "adopted moms". We are comforted by the assurance that we will be greeted by our sister in Christ again one day. She was adamant that there be no service and her wishes will be respected in that matter. If desired, memorials may be sent to The Gathering Baptist Church, 4505 S. Noland Road, Independence, MO 64055.