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Well-known Covington centarian Martha Malcolm dies at 106
Martha Malcolm
Martha Malcolm greets guests to her 106th birthday party from her special chair during her 106th birthday celebration in October 2022. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

OXFORD, Ga. — A Covington centarian whom the community helped celebrate birthdays in recent years has died.

Martha Malcolm died Jan. 22 with her daughter and two granddaughters by her side, stated an obituary from Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home.  

Malcolm spent her final years at Merryvale Assisted Living in Oxford "surrounded by many special friends and caretakers that became like family."

It was at Merryvale that the community helped her celebrate her birthday in recent years.

In October, Malcolm sat comfortably in an oversized pink chair with a smile on her face as she celebrated her special day. Family members and friends sang “Happy Birthday” to the birthday girl twice, shared their favorite “Marthaisms” and went all out to show their love to their friend and beloved family member. 

Two members of the Newton County government also helped her celebrate, including Board of Commissioners Chairman Marcello Banes and Interim County Manager Jarvis Sims who read a proclamation that declared Sept. 29 as “Martha Malcolm Day” in Newton County. 

When she turned 104 in September 2020, she again celebrated with the community in a drive-by birthday event.

Singer Harry Connick Jr. called her and sang “Happy Birthday” to her — four years after featuring her on his nationally syndicated talk show.

Connick met Malcolm after featuring a video of her as part of a montage of videos of viewers doing a dance featured on his TV show. 

Friends had submitted a video of her doing Connick’s “Back it Up” dance.

Malcolm had lived in Newton County for 77 years. She and her husband, Marion, moved from Morgan County to Newton County in 1945. 

She retired from Covington Manufacturing Co. after 25 years while Marion was a mechanic for almost half a century — working more than three decades for an auto dealership before he went out on his own. 

The couple moved to a house on what was then a dirt road — now Ga. Hwy. 36 — and lived there for 57 years, a family member said.

Malcolm also was a member of High Point Baptist Church for 70 years "and spent her entire life devoted to serving others," said the obituary.

She later lived with a daughter near Lake Varner until the daughter's death in 2017, which prompted the family to move the centarian to Merryvale.

Visitation for Malcolm was at Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home on Saturday, Jan. 28. Flowers are accepted or donations may be made to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at

Sports Editor Phillip B. Hubbard contributed to this report.