Marti was born Jan. 5, 1944, in Cape Girardeau, daughter of Ferdinand Nicholas and Ruth Estes Sturm.
She was a member of Abbey Road Christian Church-Disciples of Christ in Cape Girardeau, serving as chairman of Stewardship Campaign, Worship Committee and Revitalization Committee
She attended elementary school and high school in Dexter where she graduated in 1962, having not only earned her diploma, but also created lifelong friendships. These friendships brought her great joy and comfort throughout her life and tremendous peace, love and laughter during her courageous battle with cancer.
She attended Baptist Memorial School of Nursing in Memphis, Tenn., graduating in 1965 as an R.N. specializing in behavioral medicine.
She spent the majority of her professional career working at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. During her 23 years with SFMC she served as the director of the medical center's Mental Health Unit, opened and served as director of The Franciscan Program, alcohol and drug treatment facility, later renamed St. Francis Center for Recovery. She served as the Employee Assistance Coordinator, providing individual and group counseling services as well as conducting numerous workshops for employees ranging from team building to assertiveness training.
Marti loved people and loved being able to help them through difficult times in their lives, thinking nothing of being awakened in the middle of the night to go to the side of a friend, employee, patient or complete stranger to offer her support.
Marti worked with the Missouri Physicians Health Program, serving as group and individual counselor to physicians recovering from addiction.
Marti held numerous nursing, counseling and leadership, certifications and licenses. She was certified in Psychiatric Nursing, and Substance Abuse Counseling.
She was also a member of several local and national organizations, Zonta Club International, American Nurses Association, Safe Kids Organization, and was a Police Dept. Mental Health assistant.
Loving survivors include her life companion, Shirleen Sexton; other family members, Carl and Rebecca Backfisch (Benton), Kevin and Shana Lacey (Scott City), Craig and Charlotte Murphy(Whiteman AFB), Greg and Jill Welter (Cape Girardeau) Albert and Connie Sturm (San Jose, Calif.), Elnir Fulkerson (Rockford, Ill.), Jeanette Estes (Cape Girardeau); numerous, nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and her brother, Michael Estes Sturm.
Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, at Ford and Sons Mt. Auburn Chapel.
The Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, at Abbey Road Christian Church, with Rev. Rodger Kiepe officiating. Entombment will follow in Cape County Memorial Park Mausoleum.
Memorials may be made to Abbey Road Christian Church, Humane Society or charity of your choice.