Martha Hurlocker's Story
Martha Bledsoe died on Feb. 1, 2018 at home, with her loving and devoted husband, children, and grandchildren at her side.
Martha was born on Jan. 5, 1931 in Millingport, Stanly County, North Carolina, the youngest of Walter and Mary Hurlocker's three daughters. She grew up in Stanly County, and graduated from Virginia Intermont in Bristol, Virginia and Women's College (now UNC-Greensboro). In 1952, she moved to Charlotte to teach third grade. In 1955, she met a handsome young man in the Singles Class at Myers Park United Methodist Church. Lou Bledsoe Jr. says Martha was the sweetest, prettiest girl he had ever laid eyes on. They were married on April 24, 1957 and over their 60 plus years together, his opinion never changed.
Martha left teaching after their first child, Louis, was born. She found her calling as a piano teacher, helping hundreds of children learn to play the piano for over 50 years. Not only did she nurture and expand their musical talents, she also was a mentor, a trusted advisor, and their greatest cheerleader. Many of her students stayed in touch with her and visited when they were home from college and after graduation. Martha loved to play the piano, and she enjoyed sharing her musical gifts with her family and friends.
Martha is survived by her husband, Lou Bledsoe Jr., a retired lawyer; two children - Judge Louis Bledsoe III and his wife, Suzanne, of Charlotte, and Dr. Mary Martha Felkner and her husband, Pete, also of Charlotte; her six grandchildren - Dr. Carol Jones and her husband, Sean, of Roanoke, Virginia, and Louis Bledsoe IV, Kathleen Bledsoe, Jack Felkner, David Felkner and Catherine Felkner, all of Charlotte. She is also survived by her sister, Margo McGee, and her husband, J.C., of Asheville, her brothers-in-law, Ron Bledsoe and his wife, Marge, and Ted Bledsoe and his wife, Adaline, all of Huntsville, Alabama, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
Martha was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Marie Jones, and her brother-in-law, Bain Jones. Martha and Lou lost their youngest child, Margaret, in 1996 as a result of a fall during a charity walk against hunger. She was 30 years old, practicing law with her dad. The Bledsoes endured the tragedy with characteristic grace, informally counseling other bereaved parents through their sorrow.
God blessed Martha Bledsoe with a sweet life. She and Lou cherished family beach trips to Pawley's Island and loved showing their children this beautiful country on numerous cross-country family trips. They were devoted to their church, Myers Park United Methodist. Late in life, they enjoyed sitting down together to watch old TV shows on Netflix. "The West Wing" was a favorite.
Most importantly, Martha lived to see her dream come true: Raising three children to be strong Christians, to be humble, and to do good. She was at peace at the end.
A service to celebrate Martha's life was held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at Myers Park United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, a gift in Martha's memory may be made to Myers Park United Methodist Church, 1501 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207; her childhood church, Salem United Methodist Church, 20987 N.C. 73 Highway, Albemarle, NC 28001; or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105.
The family is deeply grateful for the love and care shown Martha and her family during her illness by Visiting Angels and Hospice & Palliative Care - Charlotte Region.
Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, 704-641-7606. Online condolences are welcome at www.kennethpoeservices.com.
Published on February 5, 2018