In 1942, on Christmas Day, Martha “Marty” Harris Wakefield Upshaw was born to the parentage of C.H. and Mary Pinkard Harris in Dallas, Texas. Marty transitioned to eternity with her Savior on May 20, 2020.
Marty received her primary and secondary education in Garland Independent School District. Upon graduating from Garland High School, she went on to graduate from Prairie View A&M University where she majored in Clothing and Textiles with a minor in Sociology. A lover of learning, she continued her educational pursuits at the Professional Business School in New Mexico and Hunter College in New York. The highlight of her career was her position as the Player Relations Specialist for THE Dallas Cowboys Football Club from 1969 until 1977. Though Marty’s professional journey afforded her other interesting opportunities in the business world, having been a part of America’s Team was by far the most exciting job of her life. Marty’s professional career also included working for Emery Worldwide as well as UPS for many years until her early retirement. It was during this time that Marty took her endearing personality, remarkable wit, and gorgeous smile to the world of volunteering. For a time, Marty volunteered for the Thanksgiving Foundation as well as Restland Funeral Home until she decided to devote herself full-time to spending more time with her family and caring for her sister, Ann, and her parents.
As fate would have it, Marty met Travis Upshaw (whom she affectionately called “Uppy”) at, of all places, the Mercedes dealership in Dallas. In April, 1980, they declared their undying love in matrimony to one another and, needless to say, Marty only drove Mercedes from that day forward! To this union, Meredith Wakefield Upshaw was born. Marty never knew a love like that of being a mother. She absolutely adored “Mer” and made it her life’s mission to cherish her beautiful and loving daughter all the days of her life.
In 2008, Marty was diagnosed with breast cancer and valiantly fought it with absolute faith, amazing grace, and a boldness that only Marty could pull off for 12 years. Marty took on Christ in 1978 under the ministry of Dr. Tony Evans. She later attended Temple of Deliverance Church in Dallas under the leadership of Bishop Tony D. Robinson. Often referring to herself as "The Child of The Most High God", Marty would always share her incredible love of God and also His love for her. In the midst of this disease’s reality, Marty shared: “I am not afraid of what God has for me. I am The Child of The Most High God and I KNOW that He loves me. I am not worried about me. It’s you ‘wusses’ that I worry about. Oh well, guess it will be time for everyone to grow up.” Then she flashed that million dollar smile! Marty always had a way of putting things.
Marty was predeceased by her parents; her sister, Ann; and her brother, Jimmy “Little Jimmy” Henson. Those left to cherish loving memories include her husband of more than 40 years, Travis; her daughter, Meredith; her step-children, Eddie Upshaw and Monica (Adam) Colbert; her grandchildren: Nicole, Nicolas, LaRhonda, Kendall, Jeremiah, and Carter; her chosen daughter, Sonja (Sean) Ballenger; her special and dear friend, Deb (Larry) Jackson; her special sisters, Brenda (Keith) Beard and Odessa (Virgil) Favorite; her brothers: Jimmy “Big Jimmy” (Jewel) Harris, Chris “Ishie” (Wendy) Harris, and Charlie (Meridith) Harris; her talented and adored oncologist, Dr. Cindy Osborne, and her staff; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and loved ones.
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