A Life Lived: Martha Schramlin, known for kindness, gentle spirit

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Many remember Martha Schramlin from her days working as a teller at Carter County Bank at the Elk Avenue Branch.
Martha died April 5 at the age of 95. She was a long-time resident of Watauga Avenue.
Many bank employees remember Martha as a kind person and a “lady.” June Estep Benson, who worked at the bank with Martha, noted she was a very smart person and did her work well. “She was not only liked by her co-workers but by bank customers. She worked in bookkeeping some, but spent most of her time at Carter County Bank as a teller,” said Benson.
“Martha, like all our bank employees, was our second family. Sometimes, we went to lunch together, took coffee breaks together, and we would talk about the things that happened in our lives. She really loved her family. She was always talking about her Beckys,” Benson shared.
Martha, who was married to Earl Schramlin, had a daughter named Becky by her first husband, and Earl also had a daughter named Becky. Sadly, both Beckys preceded her in death.
“Sometimes, work friends are the best friends you can ever wish for, and Martha was that kind of friend,” said Benson.
Debbie Alexander recalls that Martha was already working at the bank when she began her employment there. “I remember her as a soft-spoken person and very kind. We always worked late on Fridays, and Earl usually came to pick Martha up on Friday. He, too, was a kind and friendly person. He and Martha were very devoted to each other,” Debbie shared.
Another employee, Loretta Pierce, also spoke well of Martha. “She was a very dedicated, conscientious employee, and was very customer-oriented. She worked as a teller and I was in bookkeeping, but we would chit-chat some. She not only acted professionally, but she dressed professionally,” said Pierce.
“I do remember a time when I was going through a very hard time, that she was very good to me,” Pierce said.
Pierce also recalled that Martha and Earl enjoyed dancing. “When we had our Christmas parties, they could really cut a rug.”
Prior to coming to Carter County Bank, Martha had worked at the Kingsport National Bank. She had a sister, Christine Vulgamore, with whom she was very close and after Earl died, they often spent the weekends together at Christine’s mountain home in Western North Carolina.
“Martha was a very quiet and reserved person, but once you got to know her she was a lot of fun. One thing for sure, she loved her family,” said Ann Ingram, another former co-worker.
“She loved to talk about her children and step-children.”
Martha was a long-time member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Elizabethton. She was also a member of the VFW Auxiliary, the M.O.C. Auxiliary, and Women of the Moose.
She leaves behind a daughter and a son and a step-daughter and step-son.
It’s sad, but true, that when you live to be in your nineties, you often outlive most of your friends and some of your family.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush is credited with saying, “Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat people and co-workers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”
To those who still remembered Martha, she left a legacy of kindness.

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