Not every long life is lived in a meaningful way, and not every meaningful life is long, but Elsie Martin, who passed on Saturday, August 5th, 2023, was blessed with both. Born on May 26th, 1926, to David and Myrtle Stanley, farmers in Caswell County, as one of ten children she grew up in a Christian home during the lean years of the Depression. A teenager during World War II, she began seeing Grady Martin and at 19 years of age she married him a month after Germany surrendered and two months before the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
They settled in Buckhorn, NC in 1953, building their house with additions and updates to a 19th century log cabin, where Elsie worked hard to keep the home (and Grady) in line for 73 years until his passing in 2019. There she raised two daughters, Carolyn and Ruthie, and two sons, Terry and Carl. The four of them and Grady were her world. She enjoyed reading, crocheting, working with plants in the yard and garden, and engaging with people at her work in retail. Elsie’s character was a product of her time and faith. She exuded a quiet love and humility. She also had the gift of “talking the pain out of a burn.” Whether you met her at her house or at her register in the Mebane Maxway, she greeted you with a soft smile, kind eyes, and a joy at just seeing you. You were enough for her.
Late in life, she shared that one thing she always wished she had done was to write a book. When asked what the book would be about, she answered simply, “my children.” Her family is her masterpiece; her 4 kids, 9 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren. She is survived by children Carolyn Carroll (Royce) of Pell City, Alabama, Terry Martin of Efland, Ruthie Dew (Larry) of Haslett, Texas, and Carl Martin (Tara) of Mebane, and sisters Shirley Busick, Lilly Bell Murphy, Mary Haynes, Rachel Matthews. Dementia made her final years tough for her and her loved ones, and the family would like to thank Gracie, Ernestine, Bernetta, and her granddaughter, Robin, whose generous help kept Elsie safe and comfortable until the Lord called her home.
If you needed to learn to cook she would teach you, if you were down she would lift you, and if you needed to be loved she would do that, unconditionally.
A funeral service will be held at Walker’s Funeral Home, Mebane on August 9th at 2:00pm with visitation at 1:00pm. A graveside service will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Mebane.
Walker's Funeral Home of Mebane is assisting the family.