Martha Elizabeth Hicks Ryals

Published 5:06 pm Monday, January 9, 2023

Martha Elizabeth Hicks Ryals, 94, passed away on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at a local hospital. She was born on Aug. 17, 1928, in Portsmouth to the late Benjamin and Wilma Weaver; and retired as a school teacher from Suffolk Public School System after 30 years of service.

Martha was a member of Jolliff United Methodist Church, Western Branch Lion’s Club, Scottish Rite Ladies and the Churchland Senior Citizen’s group.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Lewis Rawls Hicks; her second husband, John West Cornelius; and her third husband, Lee Jackson Ryals Jr.; a son, Lloyd H. Hicks; two sisters, Willa Mae Fisher and Kathryn Beck Gwaltney; She is survived by a son, Robert L. Hicks; daughter-in-law, Catherine Hicks; two grandchildren, John R. Hicks and wife Kelsey and Elizabeth K. Hicks; two great-grandchildren, Emma and Corbin Hicks; and many extended family and friends.


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A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Boulevard Chapel by the Rev. Waverly Smith. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Burial will be private in Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Condolences may be made to the family online at