Dorothy "Dot" Harward Martin

October 9, 1924February 13, 2013

Dorothy “Dot” Harward Martin, 88, of Cary, North Carolina, died on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at Wake Med Cary from a brief, yet hard fought battle with pneumonia.

Dot was born on October 9, 1924 in Durham, NC to Hubert and Clarene Harward. She was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, Benjamin Martin, her siblings, Brooks Harward and Margaret Gouger, and son-in-law, Donald Kreger. She is survived by her special friend, John Smithers, with whom she spent 18 wonderful years, her three children, Nancy Kelly and husband, John; Kay Elrod and husband, Lake; Doug Manning and wife, Allison. She is also survived by her grandchildren: James Conklin and wife, Angie; Robin Conklin and husband, Erik Sugg; Jane Elrod and partner, Carly Venick; Kelly Martin, Nicki Hucks, and Jordan Manning. She is great-grandmother to Jack Hucks.

Dot grew up in Durham, NC and attended Durham High School. After high school, she married and raised her children in Durham, NC, Atlanta, GA, Ann Arbor, MI, Tuscaloosa, AL, and Rock Hill, SC. She moved to Cary, NC in 1984, after her children were grown. She joined the First Baptist Church in Cary soon after her arrival. In 1985, she began working at Ashworth’s Drug Store in downtown Cary, a job in which she took great pride and pleasure. For 24 years, she worked at the lunch counter, making fresh lemonades and vanilla cokes, and truly enjoyed meeting and greeting everyone who walked in the door. Her love of people was remarkable. One of her great passions in life was ballroom dancing. Her grandchildren would often sneak and watch as she practiced her dance moves in the family den, overhearing her repeat, “One, two, cha-cha-cha.” She spent many years filled with wonderful evenings on the dance floor, and even though her dancing days came to an end after a shoulder injury, she remained a dancer at heart. Later in life she enjoyed spending her evenings with a dinner at K&W in Cameron Village, where she had many friends, and watching old movies together with her companion, John. Dot had recently moved into independent living at Woodland Terrace in Cary, NC. Although she lived there for only a brief time, she was truly happy. She enjoyed having dinner with her “special table” of friends and taking her daily walks around the lake.

The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary, NC. A graveside service will be held the same day at 2:30 p.m. at Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, NC.

The family would like to offer a special thanks to the staff and residents of Woodland Terrace for welcoming her into your lives. To the staff and nurses who cared for her in Wake Med Cary’s Emergency Room, 2 West Step-Down and 2 West ICU, your compassionate care and kindness will not soon be forgotten. We also offer special thanks to Linda, a friend and confidant to Dot for many years.

In lieu of flowers and in appreciation for the Lenten season, the family requests contributions to a charity of your choice to feed the poor and the hungry.


  • Visitation Saturday, February 16, 2013
  • Graveside Service Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dorothy "Dot" Harward Martin

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February 26, 2013

Nancy, Doug, and Kay, Mom and I are so sorry to hear about your mom. We have such wonderful memories of beach trips with all of you. We love you and will keep you in our prayers. Dianne Cronin and Ethel Weathers

Rita Edwards

February 21, 2013

Doug, so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Please know that Scott and I will be praying for all of you. God Bless.

Joel and Kay Walker

February 15, 2013

Dear Family, we are so sorry to hear of Dot's passing. Our family knew her through the years when we visited the Ashworth Fountain Counter/and checked out at the register in later years. It was obvious she loved her work there and was a friend to so many, such as our family. She will be missed. Know that you are in our prayers as you go through this time. Sincerely, Joel and Kay Walker, Raleigh NC.

Greg Bennett

February 15, 2013

I grew up in Cary and moved away with my parents when I was 14 and returned 25 years later with my own family. One of the first things I did was take them to Ashworth's lunch counter and after having been moved all over the country, we were finally "home". The very first time we were there we met Dot and she took great interest in our children. I told my kids that I had always stopped by there on Saturday after delivering my Raleigh Times route for hot dogs and a Coke. My oldest son said "Dad, let's make this a family tradition." We did. And every Saturday until the kids were all in high school, we were there for lunch and Dot always waited on us. We loved her and we will miss her!

Charlotte & Terry Sugg

February 15, 2013

Nancy & Robin, We were so sorry to hear that Dot had passed away. You ladies lost your biggest fan! She was a wonderful lady and we always enjoyed her conversation and company. I have fond memories of traveling to TN with Dot. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Bridget Brantley

February 15, 2013

Dot was very special to me and was a big part of my life at Ashworth Drugs. She was a beautiful person, a dear friend and a true inspiration! She will always hold a special place in my heart and she will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathy to your family, and my prayers for comfort and peace during this difficult time.

Shari McBane Elder

February 15, 2013

Nancy, I want to say how sorry I was to hear of Dot's passing. She is a great part of my (and my sisters) life with great memories and many good times. I will be trying to make the funeral. Please take care.

Shari McBane Elder