Martha Wolfe, a lifelong resident of Buncombe County, made her heavenly journey on Monday, July 30th. She was born in 1930 on the Biltmore Estate where she was raised, the seventh of eight children by the late Ernest H. and Verna Tanner Allen. She was preceded in death by her son, James Thomas Wolfe of Asheville, and her siblings, Katie Clark, Mary Liner, Eleanor Edenfield, John Allen, Robert “Bob” Allen, and William “Bill” Allen. Martha is survived by her daughter, Cheryl L. Wolfe of Asheville; her sister, Edna Allen Henson Siler of Arden, and numerous nieces, nephews, and loving friends.
Martha was an active member of Hominy Baptist Church in Candler throughout her life. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for over 30 years, as well as numerous other activities. Martha was also known for her wonderful pound cakes for those who were ill or homebound. She taught art and reading at Candler Elementary School, as well as teaching classes to adults in calligraphy, stenciling, and crafts.
Martha led the United Way’s Hominy Valley Community Services for area residents who needed immediate assistance for close to 40 years. She was a member of the Red Hatters, Buncombe County Retired Teachers, administrator for the area Heart Association, and worked in the Buncombe County polls for more than 25 years.
Early in Martha’s career, which spanned almost 35 years at Candler Elementary School, she began to notice the children who didn’t have access to warm clothing, adequate food, or school supplies. She began to purchase the items that the children needed, and along with her daughter Cheryl, often welcomed them into their home. As the needs grew beyond Martha’s means, others in her church and community began to help. An organization was formed from this humble beginning, called “Martha’s Kids”. She took great joy from helping the children and their families in the area, and “Martha’s Kids” has now assisted thousands of children throughout the years and has been celebrated in local and national media. Martha felt blessed to be able to lead the efforts for those with needs, and although the families may have felt grateful, Martha was honored to be in their service. True to the end, Martha’s thoughts and plans included the next group of children she wished to assist.
Martha touched many, many lives and those of us who knew her were truly blessed. She loved her family and friends with uncommon generosity and passion. She faced the challenges of her life with grace, dignity, strength and implacable resolve. A true gentlewoman, she will be exceedingly missed by her family, friends, and the community. We are poorer for the loss of Martha, but so much richer for having had her in our lives.
Services will be held at Hominy Baptist Church in Candler on Thursday, August 2nd. Visitation will begin at 2:00 pm, and the celebration of her life will start at 3:00 pm. She will be interred in the Hominy Baptist Church cemetery following the celebration.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Martha’s Kids for her next group of children and families with needs would be appreciated. They may be sent to Martha’s Kids, c/o Hominy Baptist Church, 135 Candler School Road, Candler, NC 28715.