Mary Zeola Pharr Martinez

January 11, 1920February 7, 2021

Mary Zeola Pharr Martinez, 101, of Statesville, passed away Sunday, February 7, 2021 at Gordon Hospice House.

Born in Iredell County on January 11, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Denver Clyde Pharr and Fannie Bennett Pharr.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by sisters, Alene Adams, and Katherine White; brothers, Roy Pharr, Rev. Harold Pharr, Jimmy Pharr, Rev. Bill Pharr and Flake Pharr; and one step-daughter, Leslie King.

Mary was a member of Northview Wesleyan Church where she a member of the Adult Choir, the Wesley Sunday School Class and a former prayer chain coordinator.

Those left to cherish her memory are her husband, whom she married on November 28, 1968, Richard John Martinez; daughter, Kay (John) Whitfield; step-daughter, Laurie Elzey; granddaughter, Lisa Green; great-granddaughters, Chelsea Green and Dakota Howard. She is furthered survived by five step-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild.

A graveside service will be held at Iredell Memorial Gardens on Thursday, February 11, 2020 at 3:00 PM with the Rev. Brad Pharr officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Northview Wesleyan Church 283 Shumaker Drive Statesville, NC, 28625

Thoughts of love and comfort may be left at

Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Martinez family.


  • Northview Wesleyan Church


  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, February 11, 2021


Mary Zeola Pharr Martinez

have a memory or condolence to add?


February 14, 2021

So sorry for your loss. I wish I could be with you at this sad time. You and your family have been part of mine from day one.
May Mary rest in Peace.

Carol Weaver

February 12, 2021

My heartfelt condolences to the family and especially my Uncle Ami. My mother Susana Weaver was Ami's sister and I have very fond memories of our visits to Uncle Ami and Aunt Mary's house in King City, Ca.
As a child I remember her as a "go getter" she kept us kids entertained and in line! My mother was always happy that her little brother had a wonderful, caring woman in his life to take care of him and help with his girls Laurie and Leslie.
May you rest in peace Aunt Mary...say hello to "Buck" and Susie for me...Until we meet again.

Laurie Elzey

February 11, 2021

Mary was my stepmom since I was 12. I grew to love and appreciate her.She gave me the foundation to be able to take care of myself a strong work ethic and life skills an education could never buy. I'm thankful she always said what she felt no sugar coating you always knew where you stood. She was never idle always busy I admired how she could do anything she set her mind to. There really aren't enough words to express how I felt about her we had a rocky road in the beginning but I have no regrets how years and growing up changes things, we had many conversations over these 53 years and we had love and mutual respect for one another
My stepmother went home knowing she made an impact on my life and we loved each other in the end
God Bless her and how she took care of my Daddy and he her.

Charlie Pharr

February 9, 2021

Aunt Runt was a wonderful lady! I always enjoyed seeing her and Uncle Ami. Sitting around listening to her tell stories about the old days with the family never got old. I pray that everyone keep her alive in our hearts and remember the wonderful life and times of Runt.

Jane White

February 8, 2021

My heart goes out to you, Uncle Ami. I know you will miss our sweet Aunt Runt so much. I hope your many cherished memories with her will comfort you. I am here if you need me. I love you!