Martha Jane Demery Odom of Pembroke, NC, passed away on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. The daughter of the late Lloyd Demery, Sr. and Doretta Johnson Demery, Martha was born in Robeson County NC in 1919, and was a member of Sandy Plains United Methodist Church in Pembroke. She was a graduate of Pembroke State College. At the height of WWII Martha went to Washington DC in 1943 in search of work. She was hired soon after by the US Civil Service Commission and reported to Arlington Hall home of the US Army’s Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) where she worked alongside enlisted military personnel until 1949. The work performed by Martha and many others reporting to SIS stations around the world during WWII required taking an Oath of Secrecy wherein she vowed to “Serve her Country in Silence” never to speak of the work she performed. Martha never broke that Oath. Up until her recent illness she continued to take great delight in reading her Bible daily, then often spending the remainder of her day solving most any type of word puzzle putting to practice a code breaker’s well known past-time. While a resident in Idaho Hall at Arlington Farms she met and married Eugene Albert Odom a native of Carter County, Tennessee. Martha and her husband “Tennessee” were blessed with three children. Her husband died in 1972. Martha’s career in public education as a teacher spanned more than twenty-five years. She taught at the Hollister Indian School in Halifax County, at Union Chapel, Fairgrove, Ashpole, Green Grove, and Long Branch schools in Robeson County. Martha was blessed with a servant’s heart for the Lord’s Work. She treasured the opportunities afforded her to serve as a layperson at her beloved Sandy Plains UMC. She telephoned and visited the sick faithfully before her own health began to decline.
She was preceded in death by sisters Emma Locklear, Maggie Maynor, Elsie Hammonds, Sadie Rae Hillebrand, Lela Mae Locklear, and brothers Clewis and Walter.
Martha is survived by her three children, Pam Emanuel (Laney), Oneida Odom, and Rickey Odom (Ruth Graham). A brother Lloyd Dimery, Jr. Six grandchildren, Casina Baker, Shelita Odom, Dr. Ryan Emanuel, Geneda Pifer, Joey Emanuel, Keithen Odom, and ten great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends all of whom she loved dearly.
Funeral services for Mrs. Odom will be conducted at 2PM Saturday August 24, 2013 at Sandy Plains United Methodist Church on Union Chapel Road, Pembroke. Burial will be at Lumbee Memorial Gardens following the funeral.
The family will receive family and friends in the Fellowship Hall of Sandy Plains UMC at the following times: Thursday (22nd) 6PM-8PM and Saturday (24th) 4:00PM-7PM following the burial service.
The visitation and viewing will be held Friday (23rd) 7PM-9PM at the Locklear & Son Funeral Home in Pembroke, and from 1PM-2PM Saturday (24th) at the Church prior to the funeral service. The family wishes to express their deep appreciation for the love extended to Martha, and for each and every prayer spoken on her behalf particularly during her lengthy illness.