LEXINGTON, Ky. - Martin Eugene Maples passed away unexpectedly on December 8, 2012. He is survived by his wife, partner, and main squeeze of thirty-six years, Sarah A. Liddle, of Shawsville, VA. The son of Bobbie Maples and the late Charles Maples of Lexington, KY, he was born 9/12/49 into the life of a military family and all that that encompassed.
Also surviving are his brother, Terry, and Terry’s wife Phyllis, of Richmond, VA; maternal aunts Dorothy Smith and June Dann of Lexington, KY; maternal uncle William Edward Wilder of Sacramento, CA; sister-in-law Linda Lubetkin and her husband John, of McLean, VA; nephews Will Lubetkin of Arlington, VA, and Justin Maples of Richmond, VA; niece Emily M. Hawkins and her husband Evan, of Richmond, VA; cousin Iris Turek, her husband Jim, and their sons Jimmy and Brandon, of Lexington, KY; and cousin Russell Smith, his wife Michele, and their daughters Ashley and Allysa, of Owensboro, KY. Dear to his heart, too, were his cousins by marriage and the children of his closest friends.
In 1977 Martin received his master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. He practiced as a substance abuse and mental health counselor for thirty years. Most of his career was spent working in the Virginia community mental health system in a variety of clinical and administrative positions as well as serving on state disability review boards. Most recently he served proudly as the first disability representative by gubernatorial appointment to Virginia’s Fair Housing Board.
Martin’s career was founded on a deep respect for the dignity of all people. A gifted therapist, he had the rare ability to listen to others and care about what they had to say, to ask the right questions, and to offer practical suggestions for coping with life’s difficulties.
Although he contracted polio at age five, during the family’s deployment to Panama, the resulting lifelong physical challenges were diminished by his intellect, curiosity, creativity, determination, and humor. The memory of his youthful mastery of surfing and skateboarding while living in Hawaii still brings a smile to his brother’s face.
His many interests included fishing, Virginia Tech and Washington Redskins football, automobiles, homeopathic medicine, and social justice, but his most memorable passion was his love of music. During the past decade, he became interested in purchasing and restoring vintage guitars, and the loving care and craftsmanship he put into his work shone through. He entertained his friends throughout the years with the songs he wrote and performed. Those who knew Martin were struck by his unusual generosity, his distinctive gifts (he put a lot of thought into choosing them), and his genuine interest in the lives of his friends and their families. When it came to the children of his friends, he engaged them, befriended them, wrote to them, encouraged them, and gave them his full attention no matter their age.
He always had an encouraging word if you were down, helpful advice if you needed it, and a warm and welcoming smile.
Because of the suddenness of Martin’s passing, a celebration of a life well lived, will be planned for spring 2013. Sarah requests that contributions be made to one of these organizations: the Central VA Post Polio Support Group, 14606 Talleywood Ct, Chester, VA 23831; the Blue Ridge Music Makers Guild, 7197 Floyd Hwy S., Willis, VA 24380-4025, of which Martin was a founding member, or the Shawsville Ministerial Asso. Food Pantry, PO Box 248, Shawsville, VA 24162, where he volunteered.
We miss him terribly, and the world is much diminished without him.
As his journal entry from 4/30/12 states, “We do have to continue in faith, patience and grace.”
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