Martha May Barber
1931 - 2021
Martha May Barber

Long-time Mooresville resident, Martha Barber passed peacefully at home in Santa Clara, Calif., after suffering a brief illness.

Born Martha Borden May in Burlington, in 1931, she earned a B.S. degree from UNC Greensboro and an M.S. from Syracuse University. She married Richard Barber in 1955 and moved to Mooresville in 1960. While a resident of Mooresville, Martha was a well-known "gal-about-town," as a popular real estate broker for Knox Realty for 30 years; and was proud that she had repeat customers that often spanned generations, as she sold second and often third homes to loyal clients. Martha was also a popular substitute teacher for the MGSD, where she enjoyed her little friends.

Additionally, Martha served on the Mooresville Beautification Committee, the Community Concert Association, and was instrumental in starting the Mooresville Sister City program with Hockenheim Germany. She was a founding member of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, and she belonged to the Mary Holcombe Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. When she had spare time, she enjoyed her many friends through bridge clubs, garden clubs and church.

In 2005, Martha left her beloved Mooresville to move to California so she could be closer to her son and his family, including her only grandchild, Charlie. She was able to be an active, doting grandmother, enjoying every milestone in his life and never missed a basketball game, swim meet, band concert, or all the other celebrations and events through the years. Martha made many friends in California through her connections at her job as a thrift store clerk, volunteering to help youngsters read in the local elementary schools, her chair yoga group, leading her book club, and through her membership at church. Martha was always hosting her friends for weekly coffee, and sometimes would prepare lunch! Every fifth Friday, she helped prepare and serve meals for the local homeless shelter.

Martha was a lifelong learner who enjoyed traveling, attending educational lectures and cultural events. The week she passed, she had plans to see the current Van Gogh exhibit in San Francisco; and had been to a Giants baseball game just several weeks before. She was active until her death and her inexhaustible and positive energy will be missed by so very many.

She was preceded in death by Richard P. Barber and is survived by brother, Richard A. May; son, Richard P. Barber Jr.; grandson, Charles A. Barber and daughter-in-law, Letel Boyles Barber.

A funeral service will be held at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Burlington at 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 6.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Crossnore School in Crossnore.
Published by Mooresville Tribune on Jul. 4, 2021.
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Funeral service
Holy Comforter Episcopal Church
Burlington , NC
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2 Entries
She was my favorite substitute teacher when I was I school, her smile will be missed
Theresa Rooney Smith
July 27, 2021
I am so sorry to read of Martha's passing away. To Richard, Letel and all the Family, I se d my deep sympathy. Martha was the most "fun" and my favorite substitute teacher! I hope and pray all the great times you all had together will be a comfort to you forever! Willie
Willie Beaver
July 10, 2021
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