A strong and virtuous woman, a nurturer to those who knew her, a selfless woman of God, Martha Ivy was born April 25, 1938, in Lafayette County, MS to Mildred and the late Rev. Lee Egerson.
She professed her hope in Christ at an early age and joined Mount Hope Missionary Baptist Church where she remained a faithful member until her death. At Mount Hope, she held an array of positions in many ministries that included a Spiritual Advisor of the Medical Ministry, President of the Mission Ministry, Program Committee Ministry, Church Secretary, choir director, New Members Ministry, and Sunshine Band Teacher.
Her educational journey began at Taylor Vocational School in Taylor, MS. It was there that she excelled in her studies, especially math. Martha later made history by being the first black nurse in Lafayette County to graduate from Northwest Community College. After graduating college, she was employed as a nurse by Baptist Memorial Hospital for more than four decades before retiring. She later gained employment at Rayner Eye Clinic and worked for 35 years before retiring again.
She was united in matrimony to the late Haywood Ivy and to this union five children were born.
Martha was very active in several religious organizations during her lifetime. She was the Mother Mary of Court 95, a member of the Heroines of Jericho and The Golden Circle. Her Friday’s joy was volunteering with the RSVP (Pink Ladies) Lafayette County at Baptist Memorial Hospital. She was a faithful member of the food committee at T. O. M. B. Association, true pillar of her community, but most importantly, she was a child of God.
In her spare time, she enjoyed gardening, canning, cooking, tending to her plants and flowers and caring for her chickens, horses, and cats. She also enjoyed baking cakes and even named one the Rayner Cake after her good friend, Dr. Rayner. Above all of this, her greatest joy was the time that she spent with her family, especially at 5th Sunday dinners.
On Monday, January 31, 2022, while surrounded by her loving family at her home, Martha traded her earthly life for eternal life with her Lord and Savior. Her nurturing spirit and unwavering love will truly be missed by those who loved her most. Left to mourn her death yet cherish her memories and carry on her legacy are two sons, Shirley (Ora) Ivy, Marvin (Annette) Ivy; two daughters, Martha (James) Shaw and Mildred Ivy, all of Taylor, MS; bonus daughter, Dean Carothers of Taylor, MS; a grandchild whom she raised in her home as her own, Latwanza Ivy of Taylor, MS; 16 grandchildren; 44 great grandchildren; 14 great-great grandchildren; her mother, Mildred Egerson of Taylor, MS; six siblings, Luther (JoAnn) Egerson, Levora (C.W.) Hairston, Vermacy D. Corbitt, Thelma (Jimmy) Willingham all of Taylor, MS, Cenora McGee of Oxford, MS, and Alma (Lynn) Corbitt of Jackson, MS; sister-in-law, Earlene Egerson of Racine Wisconsin; god-child, Chris Hairston of Taylor, MS; one aunt, Lorine Lockhart of Memphis, TN; special friends, Willie Mae Woods, Dr. & Mrs. Rayner, Cora Booker, Sue Brown, Shirley Carothers and Eulastine Thompson.
Martha Ivy was preceded in death by her father, Rev. Lee Egerson; one son, Joe Haywood Ivy; five siblings, Nina Brown, Cora Johnson, Mildred J. Townsend, Wesley Egerson, and Jeremiah Egerson; and a special aunt, Mae P. Fondren.