Martha Ann Smith McDonald, 80, of Houston

Martha Ann Smith McDonald, 80, of Houston, passed away Sunday, June 9th, 2019, in Houston.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 15, 2019, at Watson & Sons Funeral Home in Center with Bro. Larry Maddox officiating.  Interment will follow at Patroon Cemetery.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to service.

Martha was born August 15, 1938, the only child of Ruby Cain Smith and Herman Smith.

She is preceded in death by her parents and husband.

Martha is survived by her two sons, Merlin Erex McDonald and wife Patricia of Woodward, Oklahoma and Joe Mark McDonald and wife Katrina of Petersburg, Virginia; granddaughter, Lauren McDonald of Riesel, Texas and grandson, Marlon McDonald and wife Becca of Nacogdoches, Texas.

Martha graduated Shelbyville High School in 1956.  She was class secretary, historian, and class president.  She was active in the school paper, student council, band, as well as class Salutatorian.

She married her high school sweetheart, Marlon Erex McDonald, on May 18, 1956.

Martha had a short career with Southwestern Bell.  It didn’t take her long to know that she did not want to work and leave her boys in someone else’s care.  She began watching children in her home.  Soon, she saw the future in the child care industry. She purchased property and began operating Little Folks Day Care in May 1971.  She was instrumental in helping create guidelines and legislation for the child care industry.  Her strong personality, wit, kindness, and unconditional love was a blessing to all who entered Little Folks.  She not only provided quality care for the children, she also nurtured relationships with parents and employees through the years. She was an exemplary example to all who knew her of the true meaning of unconditional love.

Martha will be greatly missed by many relatives and friends, as well as the children she so dearly loved.

Pallbearers will be Gilbert Barrios, Jimmy Jackson, Chris Barrios, Brandon Barrios, Sam Cain, Jack Cain, Wayne Warren, and Tommy Jenkins.  Honorary pallbearers will be Jacob Barrios, Robert Cain, and Jerry Cain.

Online condolences & tributes can be sent at www.watsonandsonsfuneralhome.com