Obituary: Barbara Hays Martin Duke

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2/7/1930 – 10/3/2023

Barbara Hays Martin Duke died on October 3, 2023 in Lawrence, KS.

She was born February 7, 1930 in San Diego, CA to Russell Randolph Hays and Adele Eugenia Weidner. She grew up on the family farm near Baldwin, KS and in Lawrence, KS.

She graduated from KU in 1951 with a B.A. in economics and received a M.S in library science in 1971 from the University of North Texas, Denton. She was coordinator of the community relations program in the Ft. Worth Public Library, headed interlibrary loan services at the Texas State Library in Austin, and retired as head of the UCLA Education and Psychology Library in 1992. She lived in South Dakota, Texas, and California before returning to Kansas in 1993.

She was active in the National Organization for Women (NOW) in Texas and served on the NOW Board in the 1970’s. She was a legislative coordinator for the NOW Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) countdown campaign in Florida in 1982. She lobbied for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, and, in Kansas, for women’s reproductive rights as president of the Kansas Choice Alliance and as a member and officer in the Kansas American Association of University Women. She worked with Planned Parenthood of Kansas and mid-Missouri on fund raising projects in Lawrence. She also served for three years as president of the board of the Peggy Bowman Second Chance Fund. She read for Audio-Reader, was a docent at the KU Spencer Museum of Art, a member of the KU University Women’s Club, and Kappa Kappa Gamma, as well as the Sunday, Sunday Book Club and Kappa Book Club.

She married Maurice Clark Martin in 1951. She married Osborn Duke in 1973. They both preceded her in death. She and Maury’s 2nd wife, Patricia Martin, became good friends and Pat survives her.

She is survived by her children: Maureen Martin Winkler (Marty), Daniel Hays Martin, and her step-daughter, Olivia Duke. In addition, she is survived by her daughter-in-law, Sheila Wilkins (Kim), four grandchildren: Jessica Hays Martin (Jessie), Joel Hunter Martin (Demi), William Russell Martin and Adam Russell Martin. She leaves two great-grandchildren, Ezra Martin and Romi Martin.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Kansas Abortion Fund at or the Southern Poverty Law Center at Special thanks go to her caregivers at Star Living Assisted Living and to Interim Healthcare Hospice.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at Arterra Event Gallery from 5-8 pm on Saturday, November 18. Burial will be at the Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin.

Online condolences made at

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