Martha “Marti” Gene Skipper


Martha “Marti” Gene Skipper, age 78, of New Orleans, LA, formerly of Gulf Shores, AL, passed away peacefully in her home on January 27, 2021, following a brief illness. Marti was born in Birmingham, AL on December 23, 1942. She is predeceased by her parents, Eugene H. and Lois F. Skipper of Gulf Shores, AL. The Skipper family moved to Gulf Shores in 1949, where they owned and operated Skipper’s Cottages on the Beach, the first rental cottages in Gulf Shores. Marti graduated high school from Julius T. Wright School for Girls in Mobile, AL, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Alabama, School of Nursing in 1964 and a Master’s Degree in Education in 1966 from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Following her Master’s education, Marti moved to Atlanta, GA where she enjoyed a varied career as a registered nurse, Nurse for the Child Treatment Center (CTC) for the Juvenile Court of Fulton County (Atlanta, Ga), and also taught in the school for children detained at the CTC. In addition, she was an elementary school teacher in Dekalb County and taught pediatric nursing at Piedmont Hospital School of Nursing and gave birth to her daughter, Merry. Marti returned to her childhood hometown, Gulf Shores, in 1977, to be closer to family and raise her daughter along the sugar white sands of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. In Gulf Shores she owned and operated a ladies apparel store, Smart & Sassy, for 17 years. She was successful in this venture, bringing it back from several hurricane disasters. She was also very active in the community of Gulf Shores, serving on the Chamber of Commerce, and numerous other area organizations. She was selected to serve on the Baldwin County Bicentennial Committee to plan the celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of Baldwin County. While in Gulf Shores she earned her private pilot’s license. In the early 1990’s, Martha accepted a position with Searle Pharmaceuticals in Chicago, IL, from which she retired. Following retirement, she again returned to Baldwin County, lived on Ono Island before building a home in Summerdale. During this time, Marti and her friend Jane Taylor co-edited 137 letters written during the Civil War between a Yankee soldier and his wife. Following many years of travel, research and editing, the letters were published in 2005 as a book entitled A Handful of Providence and further produced as a play entitled “Yours,” . In 2014, Marti moved to New Orleans to be near her daughter, Merry, and enjoy the rich culture of Louisiana. Marti led a rich, colorful life, blessed with many talents and many interests. She was a voracious reader, loved to play the piano and was a ballroom dancer. She played bridge at every level and every opportunity. Throughout her life, she traveled extensively in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Far East. In January 2020, Marti embarked on an intended trip of a lifetime, a six month-long cruise around the world. Unfortunately, in late March of 2020, the duration of the trip was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. She flew home from Perth, Australia. Marti is survived by her daughter, Merry J. McSwain, as well as many cousins and a host of friends who will miss her dearly. Final arrangements and cremation were handled by Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Marti requested in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the American Humane Society.