Martha  Crosswy  Owens  Story



Grove  Class  of  1938


1937  Inter-Class



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Martha Crosswy Owens Story died July 27, 2013, at age 92.

She was born in a classic white Victorian house with a semicircular columned porch at 611 North Poplar Street, Paris, Tennessee, on October 8, 1920, the youngest child and only daughter of John Anderson and Bertha Robbins Crosswy.

She had two brothers Paul and Earl Crosswy, 10 and 8 years her senior, who helped to raise and spoil her.

When she was 5 her mother gave her a large birthday party where colorful silk parasols were given as party favors. She remembered thinking that “she would like to have a party every day for the rest of her life.”

She attended Lee School and Grove High School, and while there became the first drum majorette for the newly formed Grove High marching band.

On an Easter Sunday in her teenage years she remembered receiving two corsages from two admirers — one from Vernon Owens and the other from Glenn Story. She wore both on her dress, one on top of the other. Both men would become very important figures in her life.

She graduated from Grove in 1938, went to Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and later transferred to Murray State, where she majored in mathematics and minored in biology. Just before her final semester, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

She and Vernon Owens, her sweetheart, married on his 21st birthday, February 5, 1942, before he departed for basic training. Vernon served in Burma and India, and during his absence, Martha gave birth to their first child, Jayne Ann. Their daughter Charlotte followed in 1947.

Throughout the years she perfected her skills in sewing, crocheting and needlepoint — a wonderful way to outfit little girls — but none of these skills attracted her attention as much as playing bridge.

Taught by Mrs. Sidney Mandel at age 11, she had progressed sufficiently by 1947 that she and other friends started a bridge club, which met regularly for well over 50 years.

In the 1950s Martha decided to start a business. She was interested in how to help women improve their appearances with cosmetics and aid them with skincare solutions. So, she bought the first Merle Norman Cosmetics franchise for Paris, building a studio next to her husband’s automobile business. This passion for helping women continued throughout her life.

In 1978 Vernon faced an untimely death.

She then pursued duplicate bridge and played in tournaments far and wide, while also maintaining her business.

One day in 1989, eleven years after Vernon’s death, she received a call from Glenn Story (of the corsage), whose wife had died the year before. They began dating, and in August 1989, they married at First Baptist Church, where they had grown up.

They enjoyed music, dancing, and bridge – Martha’s absolute requirements in a husband!

They had 15 happy years together before Glenn’s death in 2004.

She was blessed abundantly in her life with two daughters, Charlotte (Glen) Lake, who lives in Arizona near two of her three stepsons, James, Thomas and Robert Lake and their children and Jayne Ann (Frank) Woods, two wonderful granddaughters, Ashley Woods and Dr. Grayson Woods Brown (Russell) all living in Nashville, and two precious great grandchildren Grayson Jayne Brown (age 3) and Fred Russell Brown, Jr. (age 2).

She was also blessed by her longtime and faithful friend, Minnie Bess Williams, who remembered her in every need for so many years.

Someone once said, “Martha brings light into every room she enters.” She was full of light and joy to the end.

The family wishes to thank all of the staff at Morningside who loved and cared for her for 9 years, and also to thank the staff at Henry County Healthcare Center who loved and cared for her for the last 2 ˝ years.

Visitation with family members will take place from 12:00 until 2:00 PM on Wednesday, July 31 at Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap Street, Paris, Tennessee, followed by services at the funeral home and burial at Maplewood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church, 313 N. Poplar Street, Paris, Tennessee 38242.

“Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.” John 11:5



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Reprinted from the
Paris, Tennessee
Tuesday, July 30, 2013  Edition ~ Used by Permission

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