In Memory

Martha E Knight (Clyde) - Class Of 1935

Martha E Knight (Clyde)

Martha Knight Clyde died May 28, 2015. She was 97 years old and a resident of Santa Barbara for 76 years. Martha was a woman of insatiable curiosity, a talented artist, a chronicler of community and family history, as well as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

Martha was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1917, the eldest of three children born to Madge and James Knight. The family moved to California where in 1935, Martha graduated from South Pasadena High School. She went on to Smith College, earning a BA in psychology with a minor in art. At Smith, she met George H Clyde, a student at Williams College. They both graduated in June 1939 and married the following October. They moved to Santa Barbara and Martha involved herself in family and community life, doing volunteer work and taking adult education class. They raised two children, George Jr and Brookes Clyde.

When George ran for public office as First District County Supervisor, Martha became an active supporter of her husband's political career, campaigning door-to-door, attending all First District and other county events, and chronicling county actions in large scrapbooks. These books are now part of the UCSB Library Special Collections Department. Martha was active in many civic groups including the League of Women Voters, the Board of Crane School, the Adult Education Advisory Council, Democratic Women, and the Citizens Planning Association. She became interested in learning the processes of art, and studied painting, lithography, etching, and printmaking. Genealogy was another great interest of hers. She spent many years discovering and organizing family records, which she looked forward to passing on to her children and grandchildren.

Martha and George led a full life traveling to many countries, vacationing every summer at Lake Tahoe, playing tennis, and keeping up with current events and local politics. In 1994, Martha moved to the retirement community of Valle Verde where she enjoyed meeting many new and interesting people, riding her bike, and swimming daily.

Martha is survived by her son, George Jr and his wife Sheri; and by her daughter, Brookes Byrd and her husband Max. She delighted in her four grandchildren along with her ten great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, George, in 1996; by her brother Jim Knight (SPHS '37); and by her sister, Judith Robeck.

Santa Barbara News-Press, June 13, 2015