Anne Provost Martin Kottman, age 85, of Ames, Iowa died on Friday, May 6, 2022, at Northcrest Community surrounded by family.
Anne was born on October 12, 1936, in Enterprise, Alabama to James Benjamin Martin and Avonia Morton Martin at the unlikely ages of 57 and 46. Anne was the youngest of eleven children, nine of whom were her half siblings, and they embraced Anne and her brother with unconditional love and support.
Anne’s large family was dedicated to church and education, operating dairies, and growing cotton and peanuts throughout the county. The Martins served and embraced God and community at County Line Baptist Church where Martins and their descendants still serve today. With a deep reverence for education, Anne’s parents valued knowledge and learning. Anne’s mother held a Master’s degree and taught Latin and tutored Anne and various grandchildren in French. Anne’s father sent each of his eleven children to college, a remarkable feat for a man born 14 years after the end of the Civil War.
Rooted in the red Alabama soil, Anne grew up surrounded by nephews and nieces her age and older, generations of cousins, and aunts and uncles. Every Sunday after church, crowds of family gathered in the large white farmhouse for noon dinners followed by impromptu football games on the front lawn. This strong sense of family, identity, and security instilled within Anne a sense of her place in the world and was instrumental in creating the loving, nonjudgmental woman she became.
Launched into the world with a quiet confidence and humble self-regard, Anne enrolled at the liberal arts college, Alabama State College for Women in Montevallo, AL, now known as the University of Montevallo. She transferred to Vanderbilt University for her final two years of college, majoring in biology and minoring in math. She was a member of the Chi Omega sorority.
Like many women of her station and generation, she married the summer after graduation in June 1959. Anne met her husband, Richard Kottman, at Vanderbilt where he completed his Ph.D. He subsequently accepted a position at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. In Denton, Anne taught mathematics for three years before she became a mother to her daughter Tracey. As a young couple, Anne and Richard cultivated a robust social life through involvement in their Lutheran church community, faculty social activities, and bridge groups, assembling a network of friends and university colleagues to whom they would stay connected throughout their years.
The family moved to Ames in 1966, shortly after Camilla was born. Anne became involved in what was then known as the ISU Faculty Wives Club, and Anne and Richard expanded their network of activities, friends, and colleagues in Ames. The marriage ended in divorce, however, in 1986.
A devoted mother and skilled vegetable gardener, seamstress, and Southern cook, Anne developed her many interests and talents over the years. She sang in the Ames Choral Society, served on the Board of the Central Iowa Symphony, took on the job of Campfire Girl troop leader multiple times, served as a Meeker Elementary School homeroom mother more than once, taught bread and pastry making courses, and volunteered in countless ways at Bethesda Lutheran Church, including singing in the choir. Anne was a member of one of Iowa’s earliest chapters of P.E.O., an international philanthropic organization promoting the advancement of women.
Anne loved to travel, embarking on annual trips to Wisconsin’s fall cranberry festivals and having the opportunity several times to absorb the culture and history of England and France. She spent time in Alabama, Boston, Washington, D.C., and the South visiting her daughters and family. For a number of years she edited a political science journal part-time, and in 1982, returned to full-time work for 15 years as Manager of Data Processing at Donnelly Marketing.
Anne is survived by her daughters: Tracey (Kevin) Wood of Wellesley, MA, and Camilla Kottman of Ames; a grandson, Jonathan Wood of Wellesley, MA; a brother Philip Martin of Enterprise, Alabama; a sister-in-law Charlene (Philip) Martin and their two children, Edwin Martin of Enterprise and Anne (Dan) Bliss of LaPryor, Texas, along with generations of Martin nieces and nephews; nephews Steven Kottman of Solon, IA, and James (Genie) Kottman of Cedar Rapids, IA; and close friend and companion Richard Atwell formerly of Nevada, IA.
Anne was preceded in death by her parents, eight sisters and a brother, and numerous family members.
Anne enjoyed devoted caretakers in her home who enriched her days.