Martha Paul Black, a nurse, entrepreneur and gospel singer, died Wednesday at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside after a brief illness. She was 61 and lived in Uniondale.
Black, a licensed practical nurse, had worked at A. Holley Patterson Geriatric Center in Uniondale and at Nassau University Hospital in East Meadow, before leaving that job in 1992.
Black later moved into a number of businesses, including ownership and operation of the Gold Post Lounge in Elmont for several years.
She also started a gospel singing group, Martha and the Heavenly Sounds, that produced a couple of records and performed live for many years.
In 2010, she got her broker's license and went into real estate sales.
"She worked hard, but she was also committed to loving and caring for her family and friends," said her friend Carolyn Perkins of West Hempstead.
Betty Cross, president of the Hempstead school board and Black's friend, expressed similar sentiments: "Martha was one the most kindhearted and generous people I've ever met. A fond memory of her is when I once mentioned that there were five children that dearly wanted to go to Disney World but there was no money, and she immediately vowed to pay their fare, saying 'That could be my granddaughter.' "
Black was a leading choir member at Faith Baptist Church in Hempstead and was active in other roles there, her family said.
She is survived by her stepmother, Theola Shelton; sons Andre and Phillip Maupin of Hempstead; sister Suzette Shelton, also of Hempstead; brothers Jeffrey, Vance, Eugene and Thomas Maupin all of Hempstead; Darrell Maupin, of Wilmington, N.C.; and Ricky Shelton of Hempstead; and one grandchild.
A wake will be from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the church, with the funeral service to immediately follow. Burial will be at Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.