James Martin Gaither

James Martin Gaither, 58, of Roanoke Rapids, NC passed away at Durham Regional Hospital on March 30, 2012 after a brief illness. Martin was born in Rocky Mount, NC on July 8, 1953. He was the son of the late James Harris Gaither and Princilla Womble Gaither.

Growing up in Enfield, NC, Martin graduated from Enfield High School in 1971. In high school Martin began working at Branch Funeral Home, serving his apprenticeship there and later working in the Branch Funeral Homes in Enfield, Scotland Neck, and Roanoke Rapids. He attended Western Carolina University where he graduated in 1975. He graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, GA in 1977 and received his MA in Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University in 1988. Martin loved teaching and served on the faculty of Gupton-Jones College for several years and taught accountingand business law at Pamlico Community College for a number of years. He also substitute taught in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District. Martin loved teaching and was especially proud of the many funeral directors he taught in the southeast. At the time of his death he was a Sales Consultant with the Embalmers Supply Company (ESCO) of East Lyme, CT.

For a number of years Martin wrote a column, Barbecue and Coleslaw, for the Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald. His column was about local and regional people and interests in the Roanoke Valley. He could always think of a story to tell, had a great wit, and he loved blue grass music. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids. Martin was a devoted husband, son and brother.

Martin is survived by his wife, Connie Barnes Gaither; three brothers, Michael W. Gaither of Graham; Rev. Craig Gaither of Morrisville, and Chris D. Gaither of Wilmington; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, April 1, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Askew Funeral & Cremation Services, 731 Roanoke Ave., Roanoke Rapids, NC. A service celebrating Martin's life will be held Monday, April 2, at 11:00 a.m. in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Randy Martin officiating. Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery in Enfield.

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Askew Funeral & Cremation Services  •  731 Roanoke Avenue   Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870  •  252-537-8888