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Martha Gay

January 29, 2019

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Martha O’Hagan Murdock Gay died peacefully on January 28, 2019. Martha was born in Durham, NC on June 27, 1930, one of two daughters of Martha Mason Murdock and James Allen Murdock.

Martha was educated in Durham Public Schools graduating from Durham High School and attending Brenau College in Gainesville, GA.

Martha enjoyed every day she spent with her best friend and husband for 37 years, Ham Gay, whether at the beach with family and friends or traveling to Charlottesville to cheer on the Hoos in basketball and football.

“Granny,” as her grandchildren and great grandchildren affectionately called her, provided a foundation of love and trust that began as infants and carried forward through their adult lives. She was not just their grandmother; she was also their best friend and confidant. We will honor Mom when we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays, as she passed on to her granddaughters the recipe for her “Granny-Cake” she made for us since we were children.

Martha was predeceased by her husband, Ham; sister, Elizabeth M. Griswold; her son, Lapsley W. Hamblen III, and daughter- in-law, Mary P. Hamblen.

Martha is survived by her son James Allen Murdock Hamblen of Lynchburg, his son Dock Hamblen of Lynchburg, and his daughter Mercer H. Griffin and husband Michael of Durham, NC and their children Stirling E. and Christopher M. Griffin; her son William S. Hamblen and wife Debbie of Richmond and their children Matthew S. Hamblen and Katherine G. Hamblen; granddaughter Jennifer H. Valdivia and husband Chris of Ponte Vedra, FL, and their children Gabriella and Sydney Valdivia; her stepson Prescott H. Gay and wife Virginia of Lynchburg and children; and stepdaughter Parke Goodall Gay Messier of Richmond and their children.

The family wishes to express their deep affection and gratitude to the wonderful staff of the 5th floor, skilled care at Westminster Canterbury.

A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.





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