Martha McGraw Stafford of Charlotte, beloved mother, sister, grandmother and great grandmother went to be with the Lord on Friday, June 23, 2017. A service to celebrate her life will be held at Hickory Grove Baptist Church on Wednesday, June 28th at 2:00 PM. Rev. John Harrill and Rev. Arnold Kessler will be officiating. Following the service the family will be receiving friends in the foyer. Burial is private.
Born November 7, 1922, Martha was the daughter of Richard P. & Beatrice H. McGraw. In addition to her parents, Martha was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Tom A. Stafford, Sr., with whom she enjoyed traveling the world.
Educated at Nevin Elementary and Derita High School, Martha studied music at UNC-C and St. Louis, MO Institute of Music. She taught piano for 64 years touching the lives of over 500 students. She reluctantly gave up teaching when she turned 94. Several of her students received their doctorates and some became piano teachers.
Martha served as second pianist and first organist at Hickory Grove Baptist Church. She also played the organ for Wilson Grove Baptist Church and Lawyer’s Road Baptist Church. She was a long time active member of Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum and at one time served as President of Hickory Grove Baptist Church Joy Club. Supporting her husband, Tom, she was active in IMSA.
Martha is survived by her daughter, Rita Kaye Stafford of Charlotte; son, Tom A. Stafford, Jr. (Wanda) of Peachland; five grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren; sisters, Helen Helms (R.B.) of Huntersville and Janice Rose of Charlotte; brother, R.P. McGraw (Barbara) of Huntersville; sister-in-laws, Ann McGraw and Lee McGraw of Huntersville. Preceding her in death were brothers, James McGraw of Mint Hill, Richard McGraw of Derita, Ronald McGraw and Jerry McGraw of Huntersville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hickory Grove Baptist Church Hearts and Hammers.
June 28, 2017
Hickory Grove Baptist Church
7200 E W.T. Harris Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28215