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Martha Shipman DeLara, 101, of Gloucester, died Saturday, March 10, 2012, at Riverside Convalescent Center, West Point.

Born Dec. 17, 1910 in Ridgely, Md., she was the only child of Willard Simpson and Frances Roberts Shipman.

The family moved to Tidewater Virginia during WWI. Martha graduated from Maury High School in Norfolk in 1929. Later, she took early childhood education classes at ODU. During WWII, Martha and her mother wrapped bandages for the Red Cross and volunteered as aircraft spotters on the beach at Ocean View, Norfolk. She was an avid birdwatcher who kept her feeders full.

Martha devoted much of her life to the Methodist Church, serving as leader of Sunday school programs at Miles Memorial United Methodist in Norfolk and Bellamy United Methodist in Gloucester. For several years she was Director of Religious Education at Tabernacle United Methodist in Poquoson. Also, Martha worked in the Children’s Division of the Methodist Conference Offices in Richmond.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, James Howard DeLara Sr.; son, James H. DeLara Jr., and granddaughter, Laura Lane.

She is survived by a son, Willard S. DeLara and his wife Mary of Williamsburg; two granddaughters, Julia Pasipanki and her husband Robert of Hayes, and Martha DeLara of Brownsville, Texas;
grandson, Geoffrey DeLara of Gloucester; five great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Bellamy United Methodist Church, 4870 Chestnut Fork Road, Gloucester, Va.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue, P.O. Box 417, Gloucester, Va. 23061.

Andrews Funeral Home, Gloucester, is in charge of arrangements.