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Martha van Noppen
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Obituary for Martha van Noppen

Martha van Noppen died peacefully at the Hock Family Pavilion in Durham, NC on Friday, June 8, 2018.

Martha was born in the town of Ft. Jackson, SC on April 19, 1942, the daughter of Thomas Pratt van Noppen and Stella Hays Gee van Noppen who both predeceased her.

Martha grew up in Madison, NC, at a time when children were free to explore the entire town; she and her brothers and later her sister knew every special nook and cranny of their small world. She saw herself “as a child of nature and loved getting outside!” During those years she trained as a classical pianist and was a delight to all who heard her play.

Martha graduated from St Mary’s College in 1962 and from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1964. She later received her Master’s in writing from the SUNY system in Rochester, NY. Her abilities with pen and paper served her remarkably well in life, including editing medical journals and transcribing medical records, as well as spending much of her career studying and writing about the great authors in the American South. One of her proudest literary accomplishments was the notable chapter Martha researched and wrote about Eudora Welty in a biographical collection about Southern authors. Martha also used her gifts of writing and painting with the Omaha Magic Theater in Omaha, Nebraska.

Eventually, Martha relocated to Key West, FL, where her medical editing took a backseat while she embarked on a new path driving a cab for American Taxi. During this time an article was written about Martha’s life in the Miami Herald.

As her twilight years approached, Martha chose to move back to North Carolina to be close to friends and family. She continued to write stories, poetry, and to enjoy painting and the arts.

Martha is survived by her brothers, Thomas Pratt van Noppen, Jr. of Mt. Airy, NC, and Hays Gee van Noppen and his wife, Sylvia, of Leland, NC, and by her sister Charlotte Horn and her husband, Pete, of Wesley Chapel, FL. Martha is also survived by her nieces and nephews, Carlin van Noppen, Claudia Majors and her husband, Justin, Christopher Bittmann, Marian van Noppen, Elizabeth van Noppen, Diana Nguyen, and Paul Nguyen and his wife, Chelsea Block; and by her five grandnieces and grandnephews.

Martha will be greatly missed by her many devoted friends. We would like to give special thanks to Gail McMichael Lane, Martha’s lifelong friend whose love and support have been immeasurable; to Brenda King-Walker, Martha’s neighbor and friend of many years, whose care and friendship are forever treasured; to Darlene Wilkins, Martha’s Hospice nurse of 14 months, to the wonderful staff at Wisdom Senior Care, and to Martha’s very special doctor, Dr. James R. Snapper.

A celebration of Martha’s life will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, June 10, at the gathering room at Clements Funeral Service, 1105 Broad St., Durham, NC 27705

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Duke HomeCare and Hospice, 4321 Medical Park Drive, Suite 101, Durham, NC 27704 or to your favorite charity.


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Previous Events

Celebration of Life

Sunday

10

Jun

3:00 PM
Gathering Room at Clements Funeral Home

1117 Broad St
Durham, NC 27705

Cemetery Details

Location

Woodland Cemetery

Woodland Cemetery
Madison, NC 27025

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