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Martha C. Mauke, 71

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Martha Christine Mauke, 71, of Main Street in Stockbridge, Mass., passed away on September 9, 2018, at Fairview Commons in Great Barrington.

The daughter of James Robert and Mary Harty Kelley, she was born on February 3, 1947, in Winchendon, Mass. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Art’s degree in History. She later continued her education with graduate courses that supported her efforts in several different roles.  

Martha had a remarkable career in the field of adult education for over 40 years. She served as a teacher, a counselor and curriculum organizer in the Pittsfield Adult Learning Center. She worked as a financial aid and program adviser for learning center students who were applying to colleges. A program within the Learning Center became her focus: adult learning disability. Martha was the lead teacher in the basic reading class, which contained a number of adults diagnosed as dyslexic. These are often perfectly bright adults who are afraid of school, having failed repeatedly. There was no failing in Martha’s class, just acceptance, proper materials and support. Martha was exceptional at leading such learners to believe in their abilities to learn. She had a gentle determination that was transferred to her individual students. In her classroom, students were relieved of any pressure to succeed, but over time, six months to two years, were given the satisfying results of observing success as they sat beside Martha Mauke.  

Mrs. Mauke was a military wife and lived on multiple military bases, including Yokosuka Navy Base, Cherry Point Marine Core Air Station, Camp Lejeune, Picatinny Arsenal and Naval Station Norfolk before moving to Stockbridge, Mass., in 1981. She was an active member of The Gold Star Wives, T.O.P.S., and a local book club.

Martha married her husband, the late Richard H. Mauke, on May 31, 1968, at St. Joseph's Church in Barre, Massachusetts.  

She is survived by her sons, Richard J. Mauke and Erick L. Mauke; her grandchildren, Hannah R. Peckham, Ethan L. Peckham, Olivia G. Mauke, Richard R. Mauke and Beverly R. Mauke; and her siblings, Anne (Kelley) White, Colleen (Kelley) Germond, Theodore Kelley, Kevin Kelley, and Glen Kelley.

She was predeceased by her husband, Richard, on August 16, 1998; and her brother, Michael Kelley.

Funeral notice: The family will receive friends on Saturday, September 15, 2017, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home in Great Barrington, Mass. Memorial donations in Martha's memory, may be made to the Adult Learning Center through Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230.

Obituary Provided By: Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home

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