Martha Nell Lawrence (née Sanders) passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 29, 2021, surrounded by her children after a brief illness at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center. She was born Dec. 11, 1937, in Kosciusko, daughter of the late Alva Meek and Sadie Viola Sanders.
Martha graduated from Kosciusko High School in 1956. She married Dewey Lawrence (who unfortunately predeceased her on April 24, 2021, and with whom she would have celebrated a 65th wedding anniversary May 26) shortly thereafter. After brief stints in Memphis and Jackson, they returned to settle in their childhood home of Kosciusko.
While balancing the rigors of motherhood, work, and even briefly a dairy farm, Martha received accreditation in health information technology (HIT) through Hinds Community College. This continued a lifelong career in health care which locally began with employment at Montfort Jones Memorial Hospital in 1962. She became the director of Health Information Technology in 1974, a post she held until her retirement in 1995. During her tenure in this position, she often mentored students through the University Medical Center HIT program, served as a Mississippi Medical Record Association appointee to a task force on Medicare billing and documentation, and was elected the 1994 President of the Mississippi Health Information Management Association.
Martha was also active in her church, S. Huntington Church of Christ, and community, especially with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She developed a particular affinity for genealogy on her pathway to DAR membership (Samuel Hammond Chapter) 2004. She later served as regent of this Chapter, 2010-2013. She served as the 2017 State Historian, which she especially enjoyed as it coincided with the 200th anniversary of Mississippi statehood.
She also loved taking walks, gardening, and enjoying all that nature offers. However, family was what brought Martha her greatest pleasure. She enjoyed nothing more than cooking an indulgent Sunday dinner, traveling to a little one’s special occasion (often in a different time zone), watching her beloved Saints or Ole Miss, or just simply being around family. Those moments will be sorely missed.
Preceding Martha in death are parents, Alva Meek Sanders and Sadie Viola Sanders; brother, Thomas Meek Sanders; and sister, Laura Bell Parks.
She is survived by daughter, Pam Eads and her husband, Paul, of Fresno, California; sons, Dr. Christopher Lawrence and his wife, Sally, of Charleston, South Carolina; Tim Lawrence, and Steve Lawrence of Kosciusko; grandchildren, Bridget Whittemore (Marshall), Brittany Waggener (Stephen), Dylan Eads, Ethan Eads, McRae Lawrence, Keesler Lawrence, Maggie Lawrence; three great-grandchildren, Houston Whittemore, Tripp Waggener, and John Patrick Waggener; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank all the staff of Mississippi Baptist Medical Center-Jackson and Baptist Memorial Hospital-Attala for their care and support.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Magnolia Messenger, P.O. Box 1578, Kosciusko, MS 39090; Samuel Hammond Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; or a charity of your choice.
A celebration of Martha’s life will be held Saturday, June 5, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. at South Huntington Church of Christ. Visitation will be held at the church beginning at 10 a.m. prior to services. A grave-side burial service for family will immediately follow the service.
For online condolences visit www.jordanfunealhome.com.