In Remembrance: Marta Sutton Weeks-Wulf’51, Philanthropist and Former Trustee
Marta Sutton Weeks-Wulf’51, a philanthropist, patron of the arts, and former Beloit College trustee, passed away Sept. 1 in Hobe Sound, Florida, at 93.
An advocate of academics, healthcare, and research, Marta Sutton Weeks-Wulf’51 demonstrated a lifelong commitment to enriching the mind and the spirit. She served as a trustee of both Beloit College and the University of Miami, and established endowments in support of students and faculty at all of her affiliated institutions.
Her affection for Beloit, her hospitality for Beloiters in her home in Florida, and her admiration for Beloit’s faculty and professors such as Ralph Huffer and David Stocking, never waned. In 2001, she received a Distinguished Service Citation from Beloit College for her contributions. Weeks Lounge in Pearsons Hall was named in recognition of her and her late husband, Lewis Austin Weeks. Their generosity was critical in establishing the college’s Martha Peterson Chair for Distinguished Faculty Service.
Her belief that she should always share whatever she had led her to become ordained in the Episcopal Church nearly 40 years after graduating from college. “It’s how you use what you’ve got that counts,” she said, and through her spirituality and generosity, she used her resources to benefit others.
She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where her father worked as a petroleum exploration geologist. Her mother was a teacher, and Marta was raised on both the North and South American continents. She returned to the United States at age two and spent her early years in Holladay, Utah, before moving to Maracaibo, Venezuela. At 13, with her father’s help, she started a small popcorn business for outdoor oil camp moviegoers.
She began her college education at Beloit College in 1947 and after two years, moved on to Stanford where she completed an undergraduate degree in political science in 1951. She spent summers working for Mene Grande Oil Company and teaching English at the Centro-Venezolano Americano in Caracas, Venezuela.
She married Lewis Weeks, a geologist, in 1951 in Utah. They lived in Colorado, California, and Maryland before moving to Miami, Florida, in 1967. In 1988, she returned to graduate school in Austin, Texas, earned a Master’s Degree in Theology, and was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1992. Her ministry took her from a chaplaincy at Jackson Memorial Hospital to Panama, the Bahamas, the American Cathedral in Paris, interim work in Utah, and the Diocese of Southern Florida.
In 1995, she funded the purchase of an historic villa in Germany — Villa Tannheim — that now serves as the headquarters of the International Solar Energy Society. She was awarded their first honorary life membership in 1998. The villa was renovated to maintain its historic appearance while using renewable energy sources to show how buildings can be changed to save energy.
After Weeks, her husband of 54 years, died in 2005, she married Karleton Wulf, in 2009. When he died in 2020, she spent her final years living on Jupiter Island with her daughter Leslie Anne Davies, who survives her. She is also survived by her son, Kermit Austin Weeks, and three grandchildren.