Martha Marlowe

Memorial Service

2:30 pm
Friday, March 15, 2024
Trinity United Methodist Church
226 West Liberty St.
Sumter, South Carolina, United States

Interment of the Ashes

11:00 am
Saturday, March 16, 2024
Twin City Memorial Gardens
1830 US 701 Highway
Loris, South Carolina, United States

Obituary of Martha Ann Seymour Marlowe

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Martha Ann Seymour Marlowe of Sumter, SC died on March 4, 2024. Born in Asheville, NC on April 24, 1930, she was the daughter of Christine Sewell Seymour and Farris Terrell Seymour. She was married to the Reverend Dr. Reuben B. Marlowe for 59 years. Martha graduated as class Salutatorian from Lee Edwards High School in Asheville and then attended Asbury College in Wilmore, KY where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English, worked in the college library and met her beloved Reuben, whom she married in 1951. They moved to Atlanta, where she taught high school while he attended seminary at Emory University. After his ordination in the SC Conference of the Methodist (now United Methodist) Church, Martha followed Reuben as he served SC churches in 10 locations. She taught high school until the birth of their first child and resumed about 11 years later after the birth of their fourth child. Always passionate about education, she applied to The Citadel when it first opened its graduate program to women; and she received a Master of Arts in Secondary Education in 1970. Though she had enjoyed teaching English for 10 years, she eagerly embraced the opportunity to return to the library and share her love of books with students as a public school librarian and held this position for 15 years in elementary, middle, and high schools. Wanting to learn more, she obtained a second Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina in 1984. Martha’s Christian faith always guided her life. During her childhood, her family’s life revolved around church; and no one was surprised that she married a preacher! She always supported Reuben’s ministry and became involved in each church he served including at various times teaching Sunday School, playing the piano, singing in the choir, leading women’s groups, and providing hospitality. Martha was an incredible wife and mother and later delighted in being Nana to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had an absolutely beautiful smile and a kind heart; and she was a voracious reader, a meticulous grammarian, a baker of countless pound cakes, and an adventurous traveler. She enjoyed family trips, including summers at Lake Junaluska, NC and East Coast road trips spanning from Florida to Niagara Falls. Highlights were a 6-week family trip to Bournemouth, England when Reuben participated in a pulpit exchange, a trip she and Reuben took to the Holy Land, and a 50th anniversary trip to Alaska. After Reuben’s death in 2010, Martha continued to travel with family members, including to Russia, Tahiti, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Mount Rushmore. Martha was also pre-deceased by her brother Robert Terrell Seymour and his wife Kathryn Seymour and by an infant sister Sara Rebecca Seymour. Survivors are her children: Deborah Ann Marlowe (Clinton Lawrence), Reuben Stephen Marlowe (Gretchen), Andrew Philip Marlowe, Sr. (Louise), and Jonathan David Marlowe (Angela); her 9 grandchildren: Andrew Philip Marlowe, Jr. (Sarah Kathryn), Rebecca Marlowe Micklon (Anthony), Kathryn Marlowe Bannerman (Corbin), Sarah Marlowe Fretwell (Elliott), George Dalton Marlowe, Elizabeth Marlowe Novak (John), Reuben James Marlowe, Rachel Marie Marlowe, and Samuel Galloway Marlowe (Morgan); and 7 great- grandchildren: McMeekin, Grace, and Mary Kathryn Marlowe, Silas and Avery Bannerman, Fowler Novak, and James Micklon; as well as nieces and nephews: Mary Beth Bower (Willie), Michael Seymour (Kym), Phyllis Higgenbotham, Ned Marlowe (Jane), Linda Nelson (Philip) and Jeanette Lawrence. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 pm on Friday, March 15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sumter, officiated by Rev. Jonathan Marlowe, Rev. Dr. Angela Marlowe, and Rev. Joseph James. Visitation in the Fellowship Hall will follow the service. Interment of the ashes will be at Twin City Memorial Gardens in Loris, SC on Saturday, March 16 at 11 am. Memorial gifts may be given to Trinity UMC, 226 W. Liberty St., Sumter, SC 29150; or to the Reuben B. and Martha S. Marlowe Endowment for scholarships to Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322 (checks payable to Emory University), or to a charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may be sent to Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home & Crematory, 221 Broad Street, Sumter, is in charge of the arrangements (803) 775-9386.
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