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Martha Cargo 1917-2021 | News, Sports, Jobs

GREENSBORO, NC — Martha Harnar Cargo, 103, passed away Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

Anyone who knew Martha Cargo will mourn her passing. She was the epitome of gentle kindness and warm-heartedness. She lived without ostentation and set an enviable example by her admonition “everything in moderation.” Her Christian faith sustained her; and she opened her heart to everyone. Knowing such an exemplary role model for living the good life, as Martha Cargo did, is extraordinarily rare. Her cheerful optimism brightened others’ lives.

She was born in Howland Township on Aug. 9, 1917, to Harry A. Harnar and Mary Alice Allen Harnar. She was the youngest of three having two older brothers, Allen and Frederick. The Harnar family lived and farmed on North Road. She graduated from Howland High School in 1935 and entered Hiram College following her parents, older siblings and other relatives. She graduated from Hiram in 1939, and then pursued a master’s degree at Columbia University’s Teachers College, which she completed in 1945.

She was employed as a teacher in the Howland Township Schools and at Warren G. Harding High School in Warren. In 1946, following World War II, she married South Pacific Theater veteran Benjamin Rosser Cargo, also from Warren. They were married in Denton, Texas, where he was his degree at what is now the University of North Texas. Returning to Ohio, Ben and Martha made their home in Youngstown. Martha was active in many organizations, including the First Christian Church and Delta Kappa Gamma. After her two sons were grown, she returned to the classroom where she taught home economics at Youngstown’s South High School. She was a beloved teacher respected by her many students.

After retiring from teaching, she and her husband relocated to Sarasota, Fla., where she continued to be active in the Touch Point Community Church and served as a volunteer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Her husband passed away in 1983. In 2005, Martha relocated to Greensboro, NC, near her younger son, Roger.

Her life at Well-Spring Retirement Community in Greensboro enabled her to make many new friends and enjoy frequent family visits. She became the go-to expert for all things sports-related. She would call her sons to tell them when their alma maters had a big game and Martha had a remarkable memory for coaches’ career highlights, batting averages and game scores. Always light-hearted, Martha Cargo spread joy with her keen sense of humor and welcoming smile.

She is survived by her two sons, Russell A. Cargo of Star Valley Ranch, Wyo. and Roger L. Cargo (Linda) of Greensboro, NC. She has two granddaughters, Elizabeth Esser (Andy) of Apex, NC and Sarah Cargo (Scott Lizer) of Bozeman, Mont. Martha leaves three great-granddaughters, children of Elizabeth and Andy Esser, Mary Alice, Amity and Genevieve Esser. She is survived by her former daughter-in-law, Elizabeth (Beth) Cargo, Col., USAF (Ret.) of Cary, NC She also leaves a nephew, James Harnar of New Mexico; and niece, Margaret Andrews of Pennsylvania.

The family expresses their appreciation for the excellent caring staff at Well Spring Retirement Community, where she resided happily for 15 years.

Remembrances or memorials should be directed to Well-Spring Retirement Center’s Benevolent Fund, 4100 Well Spring Drive, Greensboro, NC 27410.

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