Martha “Marie” Ross Heath, age 82, passed away peacefully surrounded by family in Nashville, Tennessee on October 5, 2023 after a relatively short battle with Alzheimer’s. Marie was preceded in death by her parents, Lorantz and Marie Ross, brother Charles, and husband Wayne Heath. She is survived by her twin sister, Eleanor (Don) Sargent, as well as her two daughters, Allison Marie and Tiffany Loranne, granddaughter, Sarah Emily and nieces and nephews.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, on April 9, 1941, Marie and her sister, Eleanor, were adopted into the Ross family of Spartanburg, South Carolina. After living in Spartanburg for a couple years, the family made the move to Nashville, Tennessee, which would then become Marie’s home. She graduated from East High School, Class of 1959. Marie then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education from Austin Peay State University.
After college, Marie and Wayne were married and lived in Nashville, Tennessee with the exception of a 2 year period when they were able to live in Hawaii, thanks to Wayne’s job. October 29, 1970, Allison was born. Ten years later, in March 7, 1981, Tiffany joined the family. After the passing of her father, Marie moved her mother, Marie Ross, into their family home to help better care for her. Her mother lived with the family for close to 20 years.
Marie specialized in teaching vocational classes - shorthand, word processing, and accounting. She began her teaching career at Cumberland High School before eventually returning to teach at her Alma Mater, East High School, until it was closed. She finished out her teaching career at Hillsboro High School, teaching a total of 30 years before retiring.
Anyone who knew Marie knows that she loved to cook. She was well known for her Christmas candy, more specifically, her fudge, Texas Millionaires, and Coconut Balls. She was always trying out a new recipe, and you better bet you were going to hear about it, and if you were lucky, she’d bring you some! She also loved to sew and smock. She made by hand many of her girl’s clothes when they little. Marie also loved growing and eating homegrown cucumbers and tomatoes, and nothing could beat a South Carolina peach! Lastly, she did have an appreciation for dressing nicely, always shopping at her favorite store, Talbots!
Not only did Marie love to teach at school, she was always trying to find the latest “Helpful Hint from Heloise” to share with neighbors and friends. She loved sharing these cleaning hacks, cooking tricks, or general bits of knowledge with any and all who would listen. This is how she stayed “busy as a one armed paper hanger.”(These are just a couple of her many sayings she was known for!)
It will also come as no surprise to anyone that Marie loved her daughters immensely. She was always thinking of ways to help them out and spend time with them. Gathering at her house for holiday meals is a memory dear to her family. When her granddaughter Sarah was born, Marie loved spending time with her as often as she could! They would play and cook together. Sarah was Marie’s absolute pride and joy! She loved her family and was able to express this love even in her very last days.
Services for Marie will be held at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home on October 28, 2023, at 1:30pm with visitation before from 11:30am until the hour of service. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Marie’s memory to Springboard Landings, a nonprofit that has a mission to help adults with developmental disabilities have a chance at independent living in a residential community.
Donations can be made at www.Springboardlandings.org. In addition, you may also make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association at https://act.alz.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=donate