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Martha Gaddis, 67, dies in Nashville; Executive Committee staffer, 1968-97

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Martha T. Gaddis, 67, longtime administrative assistant with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, died May 17 in Baptist Hospital, Nashville, Tenn. Gaddis began an extended medical leave from the Executive Committee in 1992 and retired in 1997.

“Martha Tanner Gaddis was a remarkable person,” said Harold Bennett, Executive Committee president and treasurer from 1979-92. “She will be missed by many, many persons, not only by her family and close friends, but by the many other friends she had across the convention.”

Gaddis, a native of Waycross, Ga., joined the Executive Committee staff in 1968 as professional secretary to Porter W. Routh, then-executive secretary of the SBC office. Following Routh’s retirement, she became Bennett’s administrative assistant.

“Martha was dedicated and committed to the cause of Christ through the Southern Baptist Convention,” Bennett said. “She was one of the most skilled and efficient and helpful staff members with whom I have ever worked. She knew far more about the detailed work of the Executive Committee and selected SBC committees than almost anyone else. She won the deep respect and friendship of denominational and church leaders — and she remembered their names through the years.

“Even with such a strong commitment to her specialized job, Martha was a strong family person. She loved her family, her husband Bob and their two children, son Bob and daughter Gwenette — and especially her three grandchildren,” Bennett said.

Her husband Bob lives in Hermitage, Tenn.; son Bob, in Salt Lake City; daughter Gwenette, Bloomington, Ind. Gaddis also is survived by three sisters, all of whom live in Jacksonville, Fla., and two brothers, one in Jacksonville, the other in Lake Worth, Fla.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 23, at First Baptist Church, Nashville, where Gaddis was a longtime member. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Roesch-Patton Funeral Home, Nashville.