Martha Cornelia Custis Umphlett

Published 5:48 pm Saturday, January 30, 2016

Martha Cornelia Custis Umphlett, 77, of Wilmington, died Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, at the Hospice Care Center of the Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

Martha was born Aug. 8, 1938, in Suffolk, daughter of the late Earl Roland Custis and Cornelia Parker Custis. She graduated from St. Mary’s College in Raleigh, N.C., and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education and had been an avid athlete. She taught physical education in Atlanta, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C., in the 1960s and 1970s. Though trained as an educator, she also worked in real estate, directed corporate health programs, and assisted at a local lamp and frame shop. She was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wilmington, N.C., and previously of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Wilmington, N.C., where, at both churches, she served as a member of the vestry and choir. She had been active in Cursillo in the Diocese of East Carolina, having served as its rector. She was the president of the Wilmington Boys Choir from 1989-1992. She was a devoted volunteer for organizations throughout the community, especially for many years at New Hanover High School. She had a zeal for fundraising and spearheaded campaigns for the organizations with which she volunteered. She was a life-long lover of fun, turning a cartwheel on her 50th birthday to prove that she still could.

She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Mack McCoy Umphlett; son, Kevin McCoy Umphlett and daughter-in-law, Marianne Parsons Umphlett, of Mooresville, N.C.; daughter, Donna Umphlett Carlson and son-in-law, Christopher Richard Carlson, of Raleigh, N.C.; and son, David Alton Umphlett and daughter-in-law, Lorinda Holderness Umphlett, of High Point, N.C.; and eight grandchildren, McCoy Richard Carlson, Cole Allan Carlson, Sarah Diane Umphlett, Caroline Parker Carlson, William Harper Umphlett, James Custis Umphlett, Parker Holderness Umphlett and Thomas Ward Umphlett.

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The Order of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Feb. 1, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wilmington, officiated by the Rev. Dena Bearl Whalen. The family will receive friends in the Parish Hall at St. Paul’s following the service. On Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Suffolk, the family will greet friends both at the interment at 10 a.m. at Holly Lawn Cemetery and at a reception following at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401 and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 16 North 16th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401.