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Marla Christine (Martin) Garlington

August 29, 1957 ~ October 13, 2018 (age 61)
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Homegoing Celebration for Marla Garlington

Sunrise: August 29, 1957     Sunset: October 13, 2018

Marla Christine Garlington, fourth child born to the union of Melvin Martin, Sr. and Ruby Smith Jones on August 29, 1957 Kansas City, Kansas.

She was educated in the Kansas City, Kansas School District 500 and graduated from Schlagle High School in 1976.  She furthered her education at Donnelly College with an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development pursuing her passion of working with children.  She worked at the EOF Head Start program for twenty-two years.  Later in her career, she was diagnosed with an illness that would disable her for the rest of her life. This illness didn’t stop Marla from pursuing her dreams.

Marla was baptized at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in 1973, under the leadership of Rev. C. L. Bachus.  She participated in various ministries at the church, she sang in the junior and senior choirs, taught vacation bible school, worked with the mission ministry.  Christ was the center of her life.  She was a dedicated member until her health failed.  She was named Mother Marla because of her nurturing spirit towards everyone.         

In 1975, she met a young man named Ray Charles Garlington. This started a “Love story for Life” marrying him on August 9, 1980.  As a result of this union Marlon, Miguel (Rebecca), Angel (Nolan), and Crystal (Jontell) were born.  She was also the mother of LaDale (Deanna), and Courtney.  Marla and Ray opened their home to many other young people encouraging them to pursue their dreams, and they became her sons and daughters.

She was preceded in death by her father, Melvin Martin, Sr.; maternal grandparents, Rubin L. and Hazel Smith; two brothers, Melvin E. Martin, Jr. and Kenneth Cortez Martin; one grandchild, Sydney Rae Parker; uncles, Larry Smith and Lewis T. Smith, Sr.; a special father, Walter L. Jones and a host of uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews.

She leaves to cherish her memory, her husband of thirty-eight years, Ray Garlington; children, Marlon Garlington; Miguel (Rebecca) Martin; Angel (Nolan) Ramdorsingh; Crystal (Jontell) Jones; LaDale (Deanna) Beason; Courtney Crawford;  mother, Ruby Lee Jones; mother and father-in-law, Benjamin and Mae Garlington; siblings, Kevin L. Martin, Sr.; Marilyn D. Martin; Michael T. Martin (Terraine); Betty G. Hickerson, Lydia Ruff, Gerald Jones, Walter Jones, Jr. and Kevin Jones; special nieces, Macquel Martin and Mashayla Hickerson; fourteen grandchildren; godsons, Brandon Moore and Joshua Newton; goddaughters, Marla and Marlo Guess and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, friends, and her Mt. Zion Church Family.

Her favorite saying was “May the work I’ve Done Speak For Me”




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