Martha Adeline (Woods) Dirks was born on July 29, 1922. She was the youngest child of Dr. Mordie L. Woods (1883-1959) and Minnie Maude Pettigrew (1884-1975) of Newton, Kansas. Dirks was a 1940 graduate of Newton High School, Newton, Kansas.
Mrs. Dirks was married on August 26, 1942 to WaKeeney, Kansas, optometrist Dr. Arthur W. (Doc) Dirks. Dr. Dirks died on April 29, 1997. They had three children: Renee Rowcliffe of Woodland Park, Colorado.; Dana Metcalf of New Bern, North Carolina.; and Arthur Lee Dirks of Taunton, Massachusetts.
Mrs. Dirks was an associate professor at Fort Hays State University where she taught library science from 1969 to 1992. She received her bachelor of science in education degree from Fort Hays Kansas State College in 1963 and a master’s degree in library science from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan in 1969. She also taught speech, debate, dramatics and French in Quinter, Kansas and WaKeeney, Kansas high schools from 1963 to 1968.
Following her retirement on June 1, 1992, Mrs. Dirks was active in the development of the new WaKeeney Public Library. She assisted in the cataloging of books and other items for the library and in 2002 had a room named in her honor, the “Martha Dirks Special Collection” room.
A long-term resident of WaKeeney, Kansas, Mrs. Dirks moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2004. Dirks passed away on May 28, 2009 after a brief illness. She is survived by her three children; four grandchildren, Kristin Dirks of Anchorage, Alaska, Matthew Metcalf of New Bern, N.C., Manda Paine of Dryden, Wash., and Heather Coffman of McLouth; and four great-grandchildren.
Fort Hays State University Archives, "Mrs. Martha A. Dirks Papers, 1952-1992" (2016). Archives Finding Aids. 13.