There are no words to describe how I feel as I write this obituary for my precious mother, Martha R.
Raleigh. My heart is sad, but at peace for her, because I know she is where she has always wanted to be.
Today, she isn’t feeling pain and suffering. She will never have to take another pain pill.
Mother was born on March 13, 1919 in Perry County, Kentucky to Elizabeth Couch and Morris Stidham.
Her birth certificate states that her father was a farmer and her mother a housewife. On December 27, 2003
at 7:15 p.m., mother passed away at the Baptist Hospital East. She had not been well for many years. She
was 84 years old.
She is preceded in death by her loving husband, William Harold Raleigh; her parents; two sisters, Mime
Noble and Eve Whitaker; and two brothers, Robert and John Stidham.
On March 14, 1936, one day after her seventeenth birthday, she married William Harold Raleigh, her
husband for 61 years. Together they had four children all of whom she leaves behind to mourn her death.
They are William Kyle Raleigh and his wife, Flo, of Finchville, Mary Sue Kiser and her husband, William Harold,
of Finchville, Sherlon Worthingon and her husband, William, of Louisville, and Harold Ray Raleigh and his wife,
Rhonda, of Finchville; eight grandchildren, Pam Kiser Carbone, Steve Raleigh, Sherlon Raleigh, Mike Kiser, Tim
Kiser, Philip Ammon, Sean Raleigh and Kevin Raleigh; eight great grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren;
and a host of nieces and nephews and many friends.
Mother had a full-time job taking care of her husband and children. She was a wonderful homemaker. I
always said when I leave home I will never wash a window again! We had to do windows every week and
always polish and wax the hardwood floors. That is when they used paste wax and the floors had to be shined
and it had to be done just right!
I remember when Dad used to read the Bible to mother. I wondered why she didn’t read it herself. I
thought she was the most intelligent woman alive, and in my eyes she was. I did not realize until I was much
older that Mom only went to the 3rd grade, but she managed to help us with our homework in the higher
grades. It used to break my heart because she was too proud to say she couldn’t read that well. When I
would take her to have her eyes examined and the doctor would put on her new glasses and tell her to read the
smallest line she could see, I would hide behind her and tell him she could not read that well so she wouldn’t be
embarrassed. Had she had the opportunity that she afforded her children, she would have done anything. She
may not have been formally educated beyond the 3rd grade, but she certainly had a degree in life.
Mother was quite young when she joined the church, and the night she was saved was a beautiful
experience for us all. She woke up crying and it was obvious something was happening. She used to love to
tell how the Lord knelt before her and opened his arms and she asked, “Lord, does this mean I am saved?” He
nodded his head yes. She said there was a beautiful light shining around his head and she never saw his face,
but she knew who He was. It was a beautiful story and one I never tired of hearing. She was a member of the
Mt. Olivet Old Regular Baptist Church at Blackey, Kentucky where she remained a faithful member until her
death. She always talked of going back but her health did not permit it.
It gives me comfort to think that, today, Mother is sitting at the feet of her Savior, hand-in-hand with her
husband, rejoicing for they are together again.
When I was a junior in high school I had a poem published in our school newspaper and it goes as follows:
|I think my mother is precious
A gift from God above,
Without her, my life is nothing
For my life is my mother’s love.
There is no one else like my mother,
She is perfect in every way,
She is my guide, and she keeps me and helps me
As she lives from day-to-day.
I am frightened by my smallest problems,
I am lost in a world of sin,
But Mother always comforts me
And makes me feel better within.
I hear her when she is praying
Bent low upon her knees,
She utters my name in Heaven,
For guidance and for peace.
Sometimes I sit and wonder
How these miracles she performs
Could anyone but Mother
Keep me throughout these storms?
For me she would suffer,
She would swim the wildest sea,
That is why I loved her,
She’d do these things for me.
She is one of the many
No one else can take her place.
Heaven is on earth
When I look upon her smiling face.
Today, my friends, I lost the best friend I ever had and life will never be the same. I am honored to have written
this for our mother on behalf of my brothers and sister.
God Bless you, Mother. Rest in Peace.
Your loving daughter, Sherlon Worthington