Martha Ellen Nicholson Coward 93 of Sylva passed away on Saturday September 28th. She was the daughter of the late Manuel Hudson Nicholson and Lola Stephens Nicholson. She was the wife of the late Ray Elbert Coward who passed away in 2008.
Martha was a member of Lovedahl Baptist Church. She owned and operated the first self service gas station in Jackson County. She won several medals competing in the Senior Games and volunteered many years as a Gray Lady at the hospital. Martha enjoyed acrylic painting, making Christmas ornaments and basketweaving.
In addition to her husband and parents, Martha was preceded in death by four sisters; Ruth Smith, Naomi Parker, Laura Royal, and Gertrude Allen, two brothers; Manuel and Clyde Nichsolson.
She is survived by two daughters Brenda Dillard and Kathy (Jim) Watkins, and one son Stephen Ray Coward, all of Sylva. Also surviving are two grandchildren, Tammy Bryson and Tanya Branham and five great-grandchildren, Parker, Bella, Beatrice, Lilly and Ezra; one sister, Elizabeth Chester and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday October 6th at 4:00 p.m. in the chapel of Appalachian Funeral Services with the Rev. Eddie Stillwell officiating. The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. prior to the service. Burial will follow in the Lower Coward Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Lower Coward Cemetery Fund in care of Jennifer Blanton, 89 Marker Pine Lane, Whittier, NC 28789.
The family wishes to thank Skyland Care Center for taking such good care of our loved one.