Martha Beatty Soles

February 23, 1932 - September 20, 2023
Martha Beatty Soles

Memorial Gifts & Donations

Martha Ellen Beatty Soles

On September 20, 2023, our beloved mother, Martha Ellen Beatty Soles, passed away quietly in Wilmington, NC: She was 91.

She was born on February 23, 1932, in McKeesport, PA, to Foster and Wynona Beatty, both high school teachers. As a child, Martha developed the love of language from her English teacher father and went on to become a voracious reader — you rarely saw mom without a book. Mom also treasured the many fun summers spent in Dayton, PA, with her cousins, aunts, and beloved Grandma Marshall. Mom attended Muskingum University, followed by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. In 1955, Martha married Dr. E. Melvin Soles, an optometrist, which eventually lead Mel to a career in the army and Martha as an Army wife — a role she cherished. During that time in the military, Martha placed her nursing career on hold to raise her three children. In 1982, after 25 years, Martha reentered the nursing field and found her passion in oncology at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Md.

No matter who it was — family, patients, or friends — Martha was ready to help. Whether volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels or advocating for military families, mom felt it her mission to get involved. Living in Joppatowne, Maryland, for over 30 years, she and Mel attended Good Sheppard Presbyterian Church, where she sang in the choir, sat on many committees, and made life-long friends. An avid fan of the Baltimore Orioles, Ravens, and Pitt Panthers, she always found time to watch or listen to the games. Her greatest pleasure, though, were her grandchildren, all three of which she loved greatly.

In 2005, to be closer to her daughter Debbie, she and Mel moved to Shallotte, NC. A few years later, Mel and Martha followed Debbie to Asheville and moved into Givens Estate, where Mel died in 2016. Mom’s last move was in 2020 to Wilmington, NC, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her last few years of life lead to quite a few trips to the hospital, which, in a way rekindled her spirit as she joyfully bantered with the nurses and traded stories about their shared experiences. We’re sure mom is up there somewhere wearing a nursing outfit, finding ways to help out.

Mom was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. E Melvin Soles, daughter, Marilyn Soles Dash, and brother, Russell Beatty. She’s survived by Debbie Soles Dillard (Bruce), Brian Soles (Joyce), son-in-law Joe Dash (Anne), and three grandchildren: Cameron Dillard (Haley), Sam Dash, and Karina Soles.

Mom will be interred with dad at Arlington National Cemetery; date to be determined.

Please share any comments or stories for her family at

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 South 41st St., Wilmington, NC 28403

Purchase Flowers

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • October 01, 2023
    The McFaul Family says:
    Martha was such a good and loving soul, one could not help but fall in love with her. She was always so kind, genuinely caring and generous. We cherish the many memories of her in Joppatowne and hope to become perhaps a fragment of the wonderful person she was. Well done thou good and faithful servant.

  • September 25, 2023
    Mike Kryzanek says:
    A wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman. Jess and I have many happy memories of dinner get-togethers in Asheville, visiting Martha at Givens and our trip to Wilmington where we were able to visit for awhile and give her a hug. We know she could get under her daughter Debbie's skin at times (and witnessed it ourselves!), but we will always fondly remember Ms. Martha's amazing sense of humor!