Obituaries

Martha Ann Bledsoe

Martha Ann Knies Bledsoe, a resident of The Chesapeake Retirement Community in Newport News, Virginia since 2003, passed away on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 101 years young.

During her single years, Ann lived and worked in Washington, DC as a telephone operator and loved her job.  She got her pilot’s license in 1941 and with two girlfriends purchased a Taylorcraft Airplane they nicknamed Ranger.  Unfortunately, one of the friends crashed in a field and that was the end of Ranger.  Ann never flew again.  

Through her brother George, Ann met her future husband, L. Felix Bledsoe, Jr.  In June 1943, they were married in New York Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC, by the late Reverend Peter Marshall.  They celebrated 60 years of marriage in June 2003 and sadly he passed away that September.

Ann was a homemaker during the time her daughters were growing up and in school.  She also supported Felix while he worked for Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (now Newport News Shipbuilding), for over 40 years.  They both loved to play bridge and would host many games at their home.

Ann was a Lifelong Learner at CNU for many years which she loved.  After Felix retired, he joined her as they traveled to many Elderhostel’s and at one, made a dulcimer.  She also listened to a German radio station and taught herself how to speak the language.

Ann was a longtime member of First Baptist Church Newport News where she taught children’s Sunday School for many years, which she really enjoyed.  

Ann/Mama/Grandma/Great-Grandma/Auntie was predeceased by her husband L. Felix Bledsoe, Jr. and daughter, Bonnie L. (Bledsoe) Hembree; parents, Arthur and Phelma Knies; sisters Selena Knies Matthews (Hayes) and Lucie Knies Latimer (Bob); and her brother George Knies.  She is survived by her daughter Tracy L. Bledsoe Houston (Robert, her son-in-love); grandsons Jimmy L. Hembree, Jr. (Jennifer) and Gregory T. Mestre (Leha); great-granddaughter, Halee A. Bly; and great-grandson Luca Felix Mestre; sister-in-law Elizabeth D. Knies; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews in Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama; as well as friends at The Chesapeake and First Baptist Church Newport News.

The family would like to thank nurses Margan Boyd while Ann lived independently and Carolyn Campbell during her short time in Assisted Living for their great care for her.

We especially appreciate the loving care, after Ann went into Health Care on March 13, 2020, from Amy Thomas and Laura Salgado during these last few years while the world was in the midst of COVID-19 and The Chesapeake spent many months in lockdowns.  During the pandemic, we were able to talk with her on Facetime every week.  The Chesapeake also set up a “drive-through” birthday party in 2020 when she turned 100 years old and it was a very special day for her.  Her photo is from her very special day.  Once The Chesapeake opened up in-person visitation, it was wonderful to finally visit with her in person.  

Ann was always an independent person and the words from the Frank Sinatra song “I Did It My Way” perfectly explain how she lived her life.

The family will receive friends at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at Peninsula Funeral Home.  A celebration of life service will follow at 2:00 p.m., with Dr. Randy Shepley and Reverend Walter Satchell presiding.  Following the service, a graveside interment will be held at Peninsula Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to First Baptist Church, Hope 127, 12716 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, 23606.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23601.  

1 Comment

  1. Janet Lynn Lockstampfor

    Dear Tracy & Family,
    You are in my prayers and thoughts. May God give you peace in your time of loss. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 God bless each of you. Grace, Peace and Prayer, Janet
    We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8

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