HARRISBURG Martha Honeycutt Melvin of Harrisburg passed away Sunday, April 28, 2019, at the age of 96. She was the daughter of Mamie Ann Smith and William McKinley Honeycutt and was born April 25, 1923, in rural Stanly County near the Reed Gold Mine area. Martha graduated from Stanfield High School in 1939, as Valedictorian, and attended Pfeiffer Junior College for two years. Her sophomore year she was selected to be in the Order of the Sundial "Individuals casting an influence over Pfeiffer campus as the sundial casts its shadow of guidance." On June 7, 1943, she graduated from Women's College in Greensboro, with a B.S. in Home Economics. Following college, she taught for two years as the Georgia Dean Home Economics Teacher at J.W. Cannon High School. During the summers she volunteered as an assistant in the operations of the Cannon Memorial YMCA's Community Cannery. Martha married Leonidas Gray Melvin Jr. from Jackson Springs in May of 1944. A year later, she began a new job as a dietician and hostess for the Cannon Memorial YMCA. She remained there for 4 1/2 years until her husband's job took them to Morristown, Tenn. Over the next several years, the couple relocated to Daytona Beach, Fla., Greeneville, Tenn., Hickory, and Macon, Ga., where L.G. died in 1960. In 1961, Martha moved with her four children to Harrisburg, where she spent the rest of her years. Martha taught home economics at Harrisburg High School and Central Cabarrus High School. She claimed that teaching was her first love and that young people kept her young. In 1963, she received a Master's in Education degree from Georgia College, Milledgeville, Ga. In 1972, she was one of the members on the steering committee for the incorporation of Harrisburg, and was appointed by the General Assembly as their first Mayor. Martha would go on to complete two unfinished terms and be elected to five consecutive terms as Mayor. She also served as President of the Harrisburg Business and Professional Women's Club, VP of Delta Kappa Gamma, taught in her Circle at the Harrisburg Presbyterian Church, served on the Board of Directors for the United Way and Red Cross, completed a ten-year study as Chairperson with the Southern Association of Educators, was recognized nationally as Outstanding Secondary Educator, was Teacher of the Year at both Harrisburg High School and Central Cabarrus High School, and was committee chairman of the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1978, Martha was named as one of the five most important women in Cabarrus County. She served as a County Commissioner from 1986 to 1990. In 1989, she was appointed by the Governor to the Board of Trustees of UNC-Charlotte. In 1992, Martha was appointed to serve on the first Board of Directors of the Water & Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County. In 1999, Martha began hosting the local television program "Forever Young", sponsored by the Cabarrus County Senior Center. In Oct. 2000, she was named as one of the "100 Most Influential People in Cabarrus County over the last 100 years" by the Independent Tribune. Martha was also included as a "Piedmont Pioneer" in Michael Eury's book Legendary Locals of Cabarrus County. Martha never wasted a moment of her 96 years. She left her spirit of giving and volunteering everywhere she went. She loved everything she did: first and foremost, being a mother. She was also devoted to teaching, community service, gardening, and antiquing. Her energy, wit, intelligence, and loving spirit will be missed by all. She was a strong and dignified lady who was truly a profile in courage. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonidas Gray Melvin Jr.; son, Leonidas Gray Melvin III; and sister, Shelby Huneycutt. She is survived by two sons and a daughter, Harold Melvin (Anna) of Harrisburg, Rebecca Melvin Stites (Dennis) of Chesterfield, Mo., Roger Melvin (Elizabeth) of Wake Forest; five grandchildren, Gregory Stites, Jim Stites (Suz), John Melvin (Emily), William Harris (Melissa), Julia Brown (Brian); six great-grandchildren, Jessica Dammer (Mike) and Joshua Harris, Sarah and Lauren Brown, Catherine Melvin and Joshua Stites; sister-in-law, Patricia Melvin Massengill; and many nieces and nephews and their families. The family would like to give special thanks to her dedicated friend and caregiver, Cathy Tallent, for her loving care of Martha. A memorial service will be held Monday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m., at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, 7940 Rocky River Rd. in Concord. The family will receive friends from noon until 1:30 p.m., prior to the service. A private family interment will follow the service at Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte. In lieu of flowers, donations in Martha's memory can be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28081. Hartsell Funeral Home of Harrisburg is serving the Melvin family. Online condolences may be made at www.hartsellfh.com.

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