Cover photo for Martha "Marty" Cowie's Obituary
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Martha "Marty" Cowie

July 16, 1946 — February 10, 2023

Silas Creek Chapel

Martha "Marty" Cowie

Martha “Marty” Brooks Cowie lived a life of courage, care, perseverance and love. She passed away on February 10, 2023, with her daughter Robin and devoted husband Bob by her side, surrounding her with love.

Martha survived much in her life including an uncertain beginning, with her earliest days a life-long mystery. On a frigid morning in Hazard, Kentucky, a stranger knocked on the door of a visiting preacher and his wife. The man asked the minister to watch for a short time a sick infant he was holding. The childless couple opened their home and hearts to the baby girl. When the stranger never returned, Rev. Arthur Graham Brooks, Sr. and Ruth Franklin Brooks adopted their precious Martha.

Church, family and music were the center of Martha’s young life. She learned to play the piano and organ and sing in the choir. She grew to be a protective big sissy to siblings Ginger, Becky and Art. As church work called to her parents, she adapted to new schools and new towns in western North Carolina and east Tennessee.

As a teen, like many preachers’ kids, Martha tested the rules and pushed the limits. Forbidden to dance in her devout Baptist home, she secretly listened to rock-n-roll on a transistor radio late into the night, shag dancing with her makeshift partner, a scarf tied to the doorknob. She strutted her stuff and twirled a baton in the marching band.

Family meant the world to Martha. She adored spending time on her grandparents’ farm in Ellenboro, North Carolina. She picked cotton and beans on long hot days and rewarded herself for the hard work by running wild and free with her many cousins.

On that same farm she learned to drive a tractor. The southern girl raised on hymns and cornbread drove it so well, that when she met a handsome city boy, she double clutched his Volkswagen and stole his heart. Robert J. Cowie fueled her sense of adventure and called her Marty. They soon drove cross-country to his home in Los Angeles where they married and started a family. Bob and Marty journeyed together in love and life for nearly 54 years.

Marty was many things to many people, a giving, caring wife, mother, colleague, and friend. Throughout her 76 years, she devoted herself to fixing and mending, be it bones or hearts. In her forty-year nursing career, she tended the sick and injured. Beyond the professional caregiving, friends and family often sought her as the chief comforter, problem solver and hand-holder during life’s storms. Not only did she volunteer for it, but she would also not have had it any other way.

Marty persevered in the face of tragedy and sacrifice. She bested both lung and breast cancer to spend years of life hugging grandbabies, camping with friends and believing all things are better at the beach. She felt most fulfilled with loved ones crowding in a room filled with guitars picked and harmonies sung.

Marty was preceded in death by her loving parents, her in-laws William Cowie, Jr and Helen Taeubert Cowie, beloved sister Virginia Brooks Sparks and brother-in-law Rev. Robert Sparks.

Marty’s strength, courage and love will continue to guide and comfort her family, including her loving husband, daughter Robin Cowie Nalepa and son-in-law David Barney; daughter Debra Brooks Lee; sister Rebecca Ruth Brooks, brother Arthur Graham Brooks, Jr., sisters-in-law Marla Brooks and Cathleen L. Cowie.

One of Marty’s greatest joys came from being a grandmother. Mamaw Marty reserved a special devotion and intense love for her grandsons Brodie, Brice, Dylan and Tanner and granddaughter Brooklyn. She also marveled at her great grandchildren, Victoria and Max.

Her love and care extended deeply to cherished nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, as well as friends whom she considered family.

A funeral service to celebrate Marty’s life will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel with Rev. John Keith Franklin officiating. Prior to the service, the family will receive friends beginning at 1:00 PM.

Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha "Marty" Cowie, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 18, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel

3315 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel

3315 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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