Wanda Martin Cockrell passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Sunday, May 10, 2020.
Wanda was born in Statesville, North Carolina on December 8, 1949, the daughter of Glady Rance Martin and Harriet Browning Martin.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved sister, Nancy Martin Vanstory, as well as brothers-in-law, Donald Gish, Harvey Levan, Kenneth White, and James Rumbold.
Those left to cherish Wanda’s memory are her loving husband, Charles Patterson Cockrell of Hillsborough; her daughter, Amy Cockrell Price (Earnie) and granddaughters, Chloe Alexandra Price and Avery Victoria Price of Hillsborough; her son, Kevin Patterson Cockrell (Dana) and grandsons, Clay Anderson Cockrell and Ryan Tyler Cockrell, all of Bristol, Tennessee; sister, Dorothy Martin Gish of Yadkinville; sister, Diane Martin Levan of Stony Point; brother, Randy Neil Martin (Jill) of Statesville; brother, Russell Dale Martin (Vickie) of Conover; as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews, whom she adored dearly.
Wanda graduated from Stony Point High School in Stony Point, North Carolina in 1968. Determined to make a difference in the lives of others, Wanda graduated from Forsyth Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1971, where she became a registered nurse. Wanda began her nursing career at Davis Hospital in Statesville. In 1972, Wanda and her husband, Charlie, moved to Orange County, North Carolina, and Wanda continued her quest for nursing at Duke University Medical Center, where she would work for the next thirty-four years, retiring in 2006.
While at Duke, Wanda was deeply devoted to her patients with her healing hands, giving spirit, and loving heart. Her compassion for them was unmatched as her beautiful smile and tender touch was a source of comfort for the many patients in her care. Wanda’s passion for nursing was seen not only from her patients and their families at Duke, but also from family and friends who sought medical advice from her as she was affectionately known as “Ms. Wanda.” As a result of the excellent care she provided to her patients, Wanda was awarded the prestigious “Friends of Nursing” award from Duke University Medical Center in 1992, 1997, and 2000.
Although nursing was her passion, nothing brought Wanda greater joy than spending time with her grandchildren; they were her proudest accomplishment. Wanda loved being a grandma to Clay, Chloe, Avery, and Ryan. Whether it was ballgames, dance recitals, school musicals, or graduations, Wanda adored her “grands” and she cherished her time with them.
Wanda was a member of Hillsborough United Methodist Church in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where she was a member of the Alpha Circle. Wanda joyfully prepared snacks for the children during Vacation Bible School during the summertime and helped prepare for luncheons, meals, and celebrations at HUMC. She was a bright light to all; loving others with her full heart. Wanda’s kind and giving spirit were a blessing to all who knew her. She lived by the verse, Matthew 25:35: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
A celebration of Wanda’s life will be held at Hillsborough United Methodist Church with Reverend Cameron Merrill officiating at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Hillsborough United Methodist Church, 130 West Tryon Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278.