Martha Elizabeth Bowden Wiles

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Martha Elizabeth Bowden Wiles, 100, of Memphis, passed away on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, after a brief illness.

Martha was born in Lewisburg. She married her high school sweetheart, Paul Wiles, and they settled in Memphis.

Together they established Wiles Drug Store on Union Avenue. Martha and Paul's welcoming personalities drew customers in and soon it became known as the midtown country club, where friends, politicians, and newspapermen gathered. Wiles Smith Drug Store remains Memphis' oldest independently owned pharmacy. Martha has been a faithful member of Idlewild Presbyterian Church for 80 years, receiving an Honorary Life Membership last year. Martha also volunteered her time and talents to serving the community.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Paul Wiles, and her son, William Paul Wiles II.

Survivors include her daughters, Wanda Wiles Crowe (Bob) and Harriet Wiles Lipscomb; five grandchildren, Vicki Seago (Don), Curt Witt, Paul Wiles III, Coy Sellers (Vicky) and Shaun Sellers (Michelle); 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the chapel of Idlewild Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Idlewild Presbyterian Church or the Union Avenue Mission.