Obituary: Aletrice Lee Grindstaff Martin

Early childhood teacher, county office administrator, quality knitter

Thirty-five year resident at the Claremont Club HOA in Claremont, Aletrice Martin died of heart failure on Wednesday, July 18 at the age of 80.

Aletrice was born in Ada, Oklahoma to Alma and Dr. Lenard Grindstaff. After the birth of her sister Sandra, the family moved to California. Aletrice graduated from Santa Monica High School, where she was the captain of the drill team. She attended Pepperdine University, where she met her first husband, Richard Martin, who became a Church of Christ pastor in Long Beach, Pasadena and Riverside.

After the birth of her daughters, Deanna and Denise, Ms. Martin returned to school to earn a teaching credential and master’s degree from Cal State University, Fullerton. She taught pre-school and kindergarten in the Alvord and Nuview school districts before accepting employment with the Riverside County Office of Education. While teaching, Ms. Martin was active with early childhood education organizations, serving as president of the state organization in 1977.

She was director of the Riverside County Office of Education and eventually became the Assistant Superintendent. During those years, she was active in the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and served as Area 12 President and on the ACSA state governing board.

Ms. Martin resumed her studies at the University of La Verne and earned a doctorate in educational leadership in 1994. She was very proud of that achievement, her family shared, and she stayed active with the ULV Doctoral Association.

Upon retirement, Ms. Martin took up knitting and was known for tackling elaborate projects, like the many beautiful and immense afghans she gave to friends and family members.

In 1983, Ms. Martin married her husband of 35 years, Maurice Flora. Soon after marrying, the couple moved to their beloved home on South Park at the Club HOA. Ms. Martin loved that home and “her” town of Claremont. Even though she earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics, she always enjoyed eating out, forging relationships with many employees at local restaurants who knew her.

Ms. Martin is survived by her husband Maurice Flora; her children, Deanna (Enrico) Formaini of Morgan Hill and Denise (Patrick) Williams of Riverside, her stepdaughter Ginger Auten of Alta Loma, and her stepson Donnie (Jeanne) Flora of Georgetown, Texas. She is also survived by 10 well-loved grandchildren. A highlight for Ms. Martin was attending the June wedding of her oldest granddaughter, Catilyn, to her newest grandson-in-law, Jordan.

No memorial service will be held, per her wishes. Memorial gifts can be made in her name to the Leonard Grindstaff Scholarship Fund at Riverside City College or to the University of La Verne.


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