Martha Ellen Williams, age 84, passed away on August 5, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was born on August 20, 1937 in Lawrenceville, Georgia to Oliver Hosea Bramlett and Millie Bertie Davis Bramlett. She grew up there and graduated from Lawrenceville High School.
She was married for a short time to Robert Tanner, with whom she was blessed to have her son Robert Michael Tanner. Martha later married Fredric George Williams and had her four daughters, Susan, Sandy, Amy, and Rebecca. Martha and Fredric divorced in 2001.
As a young single mother, Martha commuted daily to downtown Atlanta to work in an office job. She later made a career as a homemaker for many years, raising her children and caring for her family. Eventually making a return to school when her children became older, Martha attended Polk Vocational Technical School and received a certification as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She worked as an LPN and later began working for the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.
Martha was very involved in her community and her local church. Her faith was an important part of her life. She was raised in the Methodist Church and was an active volunteer with United Methodist Women and children and youth ministries. She later became affiliated with the Assembly of God Church and Carpenter’s Home Church in Lakeland, Florida. She continued her calling volunteering with the local police department, hospital, and church and also acted as deliverance minister for many years.
Martha Ellen was recently described by one granddaughter as “the sassiest, most opinionated and most spiritual woman I ever met.” Martha Ellen was outspoken in telling others about Jesus and the Holy Spirit until the last few days of her life when she could no longer speak. She tried to be an encouragement to others and loved people; most especially her family and friends.
She had a great sense of humor until the end and kept family and caregivers laughing. She was known for her “grannyisms”. In the last weeks of her life, Martha Ellen enjoyed eating watermelon, a lifelong favorite. As juice ran down her chin on one of these last occasions, she commented to her hospice nurse that she appreciated her helping her clean up because she “didn’t want sticky ashes”.
Martha Ellen did not fear death and told her family “no boohooing; it’s going to be a celebration to dance in heaven”. Martha Ellen will be missed by family and friends, but we rejoice in her ultimate healing and going home to be with the Lord.
Martha is preceded in death by both of her parents, Oliver Bramlett and Millie Bertie Bramlett; and her siblings, Virginia Bramlett Morton and John Bramlett. She is survived by five children, Michael Tanner (Lakeland, Florida), Susan Swank (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Sandra Dodge (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Amy Sizemore (Powhatan, Virginia), and Rebecca Grimes (Liberty, South Carolina); 11 grandchildren from Colorado, Florida, Texas and South Carolina; Jennifer Swank Wiley, Daniel Swank, Nathan Dodge, Benjamin Dodge, Noah Dodge, Joshua McCain, Lindsey McCain, Emily McCain Bradshaw, Cameron McCain, Michael Grimes and Ashley Grimes Welker; and 13 Great Grandchildren, Jordan Swank Jeffords, Hunter Wiley, Brian Swank, Lucas Swank, Presley Grimes, Riley Grimes, Owen Nielsen, Breckin Southern, Westyn McCain, Penelope Bradshaw, Elizabeth Bradshaw, Rhoden Welker, and Mason Welker.
We would like to give thanks to Lumicare Hospice staff as well as to the caregivers and staff at Broadmoor Court Assisted Living. All of these caring and loving caregivers made a difference in Mother’s last months and days of life. Martha’s ashes will be scattered by her family. In lieu of flowers, friends and family are invited to make a donation to Lumicare Hospice-Colorado Springs, Broadmoor Court or their home church in her memory.