Nora Dykes Martin passed away at 8:05 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at the Martha Coker Green Houses in Yazoo City.
Nora was born on October 27, 1930 in Heidelberg, and she was the fourth child of seven born to Newlon Edward Dykes and Cinderella Andrews Dykes. They lived in Heidelberg until Nora was around seven then settled down in Eden. She attended elementary and middle school at Eden then attended Yazoo City High School where she excelled at basketball from 1947 – 1951; she attended Mississippi Delta Community College (formerly Sunflower Junior College) from 1951 – 1953.
During her four years with the Lady Indians at YCHS, Nora played 100 games (88-11-1) and scored 2,079 points. The most points Nora scored in one game was 61 and the least amount of points she scored was 9 against a team in the state championship in 1950. She was the leading scorer for the Lady Indians in 1950, was named All-State that year and was part of the championship team in 1949, 1950 and 1951. She was chosen as one of the twelve best female basketball players in the Delta Valley Conference her senior year at YCHS. Nora usually scored about the same amount of points as the entire opposing team. She was never one to be boastful, but she would tell you with a smile that she could stand at half-court and easily make the basket.
Nora had an opportunity to play professional basketball with the All American Red Heads, one of the first professional women’s basketball teams; however, she declined the offer, because she wasn’t red headed (HA HA!). The real reason was that a young man named “Pete” had won her heart, and she wanted to stay closer to home; therefore, she chose to attend SJC (MDCC).
While Nora was at SJC (MDCC), the Lady Trojans were one of the most feared basketball teams in the state, and it was said that she was mostly responsible for the team’s reputation. She was inducted into the MDCC Sports Hall of Fame in April, 2008 along with five other former Trojan athletes.
As an adult she continued to play basketball in the industrial league in Yazoo City, and she also pitched for the Eden Baptist Church softball team in the early ‘80s. Besides basketball and softball, her other hobbies were fishing, sewing and working in the garden.
Nora married Pete (William C. Martin) in September, 1952 and they had three children (Billy, Deborah and Stephanie). They were married for 19 years until Pete’s unexpected death in June, 1972. She worked as a seamstress at E & W Manufacturing in Yazoo City until she quit to be the main caregiver for her father, Newlon Dykes. She was a great cook, but never ventured too far away from the basic stuff that she grew up on; her homemade biscuits were excellent and so were her chicken and dumplings, dressing, fried chicken and coconut cake. She was not one to express her feelings, but if she ever cooked for you then you had earned a place in her heart because a lot of love and time went into that dish.
We can all learn some things from Nora’s 88 years here on earth. She kept things simple, could make a dollar go a long way, kept her priorities right, went to church when she could, was honest to a fault, and would do anything for anyone at any time. She just had fun!
She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother. She is survived by her children: Billy Martin (his wife, Teresa) of Yazoo City, Deborah Green (her husband, Donnie Ray Green) of Yazoo City, and Stephanie Reeves (her husband, Philip) of Madison. She had four grandsons (Barry and Andrew Green, Matthew Martin and Reagan Reeves) and had nine great grandchildren (Brandon, Loralie, Connor, Nathan, Mila Grace, Baylee, Ella, Matthew and John).
Nora was the last of the children of Newlon and Cinderella Dykes to pass. She is survived by two sisters-in-law (Mary Love Dykes of Rolling Fork and Gladys Dykes of Matthews, North Carolina).
Visitation will be Thursday January 31 at Stricklin-King Funeral Home 5-7 p.m. with and Friday February 1 from 1-2 p.m. with services following at 2 p.m. in The Chapel of Stricklin-King. Burial will follow in the Glenwood Cemetery where she will be buried by her husband.
Her grandson Rev. Mathew Martin will officiate.
Pallbearers are Frank Gray, Berry Green, Andrew Green, Reagan Reeves, Dennis Methvin, and Mitch Mitchell.
Honorary pallbearers are Raymond Dykes, Tony Howell, Brent Owens, and Clint Owens.