Martha Elizabeth McCrary Mankin obituary

Martha Elizabeth McCrary Mankin, a native of Rutherford Country, passed away on Thursday, June 17, in her home. She was the eldest daughter of the late John Foster and Mattie Lowe Leahew McCrary.

Visitation with the family will be held on Monday, June 21, from noon until 2pm, at Woodfin Memorial Chapel, followed by funeral services at 2pm. Dr. Mike Smith, Teb Batey, and Pam Pilote will officiate. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.

Mrs. Mankin is preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, John Benton Mankin, former Rutherford County Executive (1982-1994). Martha and John met in their place of work, the Murfreesboro Electric Department, in the 1950’s. They are survived by their two children: daughter Elizabeth Gaye and husband, Stefan Kruger, of New York, NY; and son John Benton (Ben), Jr. and wife, Kim, of Murfreesboro, and one treasured grandson, John Benton III of Nashville.

Mrs. Mankin is also survived by two sisters, Ada Mae Summey and Jewel Patterson, a brother, Odis Richard McCrary, and an aunt, Dorothy Taylor. She is preceded in death by six brothers: Sam Bell, John Martin, Hollis Eli, Charles Allen, William Dawson, and Hazen Wayne. Beloved nieces, nephews and extended family members gave her great joy.

Martha was a member of the First Baptist Church; her steady faith was a source of strength, both for herself and her family. She was devoted to friends and family throughout her life, maintaining close connections with many who touched her life. She and John loved their farm and their home, but they also enjoyed some special times together traveling…alone or in small groups, they appreciated seeing the country, but they were always glad to be back home. They raised their children to hold true to their same values: hard work, integrity, loyalty…but always with a touch of humor to keep things lively. Martha expressed her creativity through needlework, and when she discovered quilting, it became a lifelong passion: creating, collecting, and telling the stories behind each quilt gave her immense pleasure.

To the extraordinary women who gave support, love, and a hot meal, we give thanks, with a particular appreciation for Wanda Davenport, Betty Hoover, Bella Knox, and Arlene Harris Minic. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association to support research into this painful disease, or Meals on Wheels, to help keep more senior adults in their homes during their later years.

An online guestbook for the Mankin family is available at

Woodfin Memorial Chapel. (615) 893-5151.


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