January 11, 2023
On Thursday, January 5, 2023, Marty Saunders died peacefully in her sleep at Linden Ponds. She was 92.
Marty was born on April 7, 1930 in St Louis, Missouri, to Horace Clarke Krause and Betty Gray Leishman Krause. During her childhood, she lived in St Louis, MO, and later, Columbia, IL and each year, wintered in Ft Lauderdale, FL. In the winters, she was self-taught which established a lifelong love of learning. Throughout her life she made stunning dresses and irritated her family by creating dresses for other debutantes. As a teenager she moved to Santa Fe, NM where she was able to study art with John Sloan and his visiting artists. In his painting, ‘Gateway to Cerrillos,’ Sloan painted her sitting on a mesa.
She received her bachelor’s degree, with about 5 majors, though she would never tell anyone how many, from Washington University in St Louis, where she met her husband, William Flewellyn Saunders III. She met him through his mother, Naomi Kober Saunders, a local artist whom she adored. Over 3 years, they created 3 beautiful children: Dawn, Leigh, and Gray. While raising her children in Sherborn, MA, she was a commission portrait artist, painting about 30 portraits per year in addition to many still life and landscape paintings. There she created a 2-acre formal garden that included her only outdoor garden sculpture; pottery, bird whistles and sketches for local fairs; hosted 2 annual parties for over 100; participated in the League of Women Voters and Massachusetts Historical Society; and successfully lobbied with the Department of Transportation to have a dangerous intersection near her home changed.
When she moved to Scituate in 1972, she became active in the Scituate Art Association and the Guild of Boston Artists and met fellow artist Charles A. Mahoney, a former president of both associations, as well as the Copley Society and New England Watercolor Society. They formed a lifelong artistic and close personal friendship. She also created a 20-year business making historically accurate, one of a kind, posable, miniature porcelain dolls and became a member of the Costume Society of America traveling extensively to study rare textiles and clothes in the US and UK. She was recognized as one of the masters in the 1987 book ‘Masters in Miniature: Artisans at Work’ by Anne Day Smith. When she moved to Hingham, she joined the Hingham Garden Club and served as its President, became certified in historic landscape design, served as a judge for the Boston Flower Show, served on the Town’s Historic District Commission protecting historic structures and on the Town’s Conservation Commission preserving open spaces and protecting the environment, and as a member of the Hingham Historical Society, worked on preserving and documenting many textiles, clothes and other artifacts, created exhibits, and hand sewed historically appropriate bed hangings for Hingham’s first minister’s bed on display in their headquarters.
As a member of Old Ship Church in Hingham, she researched the history of the church built in 1681, worked with experts to preserve the building, used old paint samples to determine the original paint color, and discovered original doors perfectly preserved due to the installation of the pulpit. She created a memorial garden on the side of Old Ship Church using historically appropriate plants so that members could have a final resting place by the church.
She was one of the first residents at Linden Ponds where she was able to encourage other residents to join her in many initiatives that enhance the campus and strengthen the community, including: establishing a polling precinct on site, leading a weekly sculpture class and regular portrait painting workshop, establishing a landscape committee that maintains elegant pots in public spaces, advises on horticultural issues with the landscape, and presents an annual indoor Spring Flower Show, establishing Linden Ponds as an Arboretum, conducting monthly bus tours on the history of Hingham, and teaching various 6-week courses on topics that interested her such as the ‘History of Hingham’ and ‘American History as seen through Art’. In 2011, she was chosen by LeadingAge Association as one of 50 exceptional people throughout the United States who demonstrate how to age gracefully and actively. At Linden Ponds, for 17 years, she daily demonstrated that growing old was fun and physical limitations were only something to work around without slowing you down, roaming the campus inside and out on her wheelchair with oxygen on the back. Occasionally, she would have to be rescued when her chair got stuck.
Marty never stopped drawing, filling many small sketch books with whomever and whatever she saw. Throughout her life she painted more than 1,000 portraits. Above all, Marty loved interacting with people, encouraging them to get involved in projects that enhanced the community. She was a force of nature, it was hard to say no to Marty. She loved to tell stories, exaggerating for emphasis, and to have a good laugh. She freely shared her time, skills, knowledge and support, leaving each community better for her presence.
Marty was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her brothers Donald Krause and James “Jimmy” Krause, by her sister Holly Danahy and by her three children and their spouses, Dawn & Ed, Leigh & Bob, and Gray & Beth.
A public memorial service will be held on Monday, March 13, 2023 during the Spring Flower Show at Linden Ponds, which she annually helped to create. More information will be available on Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel website: www.DowningChapel.com. Instead of flowers, please consider planting a plant that you can enjoy watching grow as this always gave her great pleasure. She would be pleased if you considered making donations to Linden Ponds Benevolent Care Fund, Linden Ponds Citizenship Fund, or Old Ship Church Memorial Garden. She will be interred in the Old Ship Memorial Garden near her husband in a private family ceremony.