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Martha Winberry Grainger

August 22, 1926 ~ November 8, 2020 (age 94)


Martha Winberry Grainger passed away peacefully with family by her side Sunday, November 8, 2020 at Lower Cape Fear Life Center, Wilmington, NC. 

Martha lived a modest life of love and triumph.  She was born to Rena and William Frances Winberry August 22, 1926. At the age of three, she and her only surviving sibling, William Manley “Buddy,” were orphaned.  Their Aunt Annie and Uncle Nash Winberry raised them on their family farm on Bear Creek Road (Onslow Co) until it was acquired by Camp Lejeune in 1941.

In 1944, Martha Winberry graduated from Jacksonville High School and entered James Walker School of Nursing (Wilmington, NC) as a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps.  While there, she met the love of her life, Ernest “Buddy” Grainger, Sr.  Martha graduated from James Walker in 1947, and her and Buddy’s 48 years of marriage began on July 5th of the same year.  Martha painstakingly devoted over 40 years of service to the patients of James Walker Memorial Hospital and New Hanover Regional Hospital.  She ultimately retired in the Summer of 1989 to pursue her true passion, spending time with family. 

She and Buddy loved to travel. When their kids were young, they would load up the family car and set out for the mountains. As they aged and gained grandchildren, they shared their love of camping with the next generation. Her most favorite destination was the NC mountains.

Martha loved to garden and had a half-acre vegetable garden beside their home in Sandy Creek, NC. She enjoyed the process of nurturing a root clipping from various vegetable and flowering plants to full growth.

She was one of the most generous and kind, welcoming people anyone could meet. To know her was to be loved by her.

Martha was proceeded in death by her husband, parents, and siblings.  Her legacy lives on through her children, Milta G. King (Kenneth), Ernest “Ernie” Grainger, Jr. (Wanda), and Ralph and Mary Page.  She will be missed by her grandchildren, Kristin K. VanBuskirk (Ian), Margaret K. Coman (Brad), Lanee’ G. Senn (Mark), Melissa Grainger-Harry (Dan), Jessica Brown, and Michael Page (Stacey).  “Grandma G” had 10 great-grandchildren, James and Gabriel VanBuskirk, Grayson Coman, Bryce Luyster, Karlie and Natalie Senn, Aiden Grainger, Chloe and Isabella Brown, and Colton Page. 

Visitation will be from 11 am until 12 pm Thursday, November 12, 2020 at Quinn McGowen Funeral Home in Wilmington followed by a graveside service at 1:00 pm at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Wilmington with Pastor John Fedoronko officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Watha United Methodist Church, Kenansville United Methodist Church, or Lower Cape Fear Life Care.

Shared memories and condolences may be sent to the family by selecting Tribute Wall above.

Quinn McGowen Funeral Home – Wilmington


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Martha Winberry Grainger, please visit our floral store.


November 12, 2020

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Quinn McGowen Funeral Home
315 Willow Woods Dr.
Wilmington, NC 28409

Graveside Service
November 12, 2020

1:00 PM
Greenlawn Memorial Park
Shipyard Blvd
Wilmington, NC 28401


Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation
1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington NC 28401

Watha United Methodist Church
PO Box 236, Burgaw NC 28425

Kenansville United Methodist Church
201 Routledge Rd, Kenansville NC 28349
Tel: 1-910-296-1234

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