Kay E. Martin, a lifelong educator and administrator who had a lasting, positive influence on thousands of young people at the high school and college levels, died Wednesday at her home in Amherst after a short illness. She was 80.
A native of Niagara Falls, the former Kay E. Marable excelled as a student in schools there.
She earned a state Regents scholarship that she used to attend Buffalo State College. She was awarded a bachelor's degree in 1958 and a master's degree in education in 1967 from Buffalo State, and then went on to earn her doctorate in education from the University at Buffalo in 1976.
Ms. Martin taught in the Buffalo Public Schools for 10 years and then became coordinator of academic affairs for the SEEK Program at Buffalo State. She also was the director of personnel and affirmative action for the state Office of Mental Health in Albany from 1984 to 1988, and she was director of academic services at UB from 1988 until retiring in 1991.
After her retirement, she continued to teach expository writing at UB Law School and to work as a substitute teacher. She also received a prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship in 1983 to work as an educational administrator in Terre Haute, Ind., and Bloomington, Ill.
Among her many accolades and awards were being named Woman of the Year in 1994 from New Hope Baptist Church of Niagara Falls, Director of the Year in 1990 from the Educational Opportunity Program Directors, and Outstanding Educator for 1989 from the United University Professors, and she was honored for outstanding educational services in 1988 by the Cecil F. Brown Democratic Club.
Ms. Martin worked tirelessly on former Assemblyman Arthur O. Eve's unsuccessful campaign for mayor of Buffalo, and she was an active member of Constance Eve's Women for Human Rights and Dignity, a support group for women inmates and parolees. She was also a member of the NAACP and the Buffalo Urban League.
Survivors include two daughters, Dawn Berry-Walker and Denise Watson; two sons, James and Damon; and two sisters, Janet Jalal and Beverly Young.
Services will be held at noon Tuesday in True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St., after prayers there at 11 a.m.