Mr. Martin was born in Covington, Kentucky on September 8, 1942 to the late Walter and Marcella Gosney Martin. Following graduation from Covington Holmes High School, he spent four years in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Washington. He married Lynetta Hatley of Pullman, Washington on October 5, 1963.
After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Mr. Martin joined the U.S. General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office) and worked in the Cincinnati, Ohio; Frankfurt, Germany; Los Angeles, California; and Washington, D.C. offices. He specialized in International Refugee and Humanitarian Affairs issues which resulted in his visiting and working in 53 different countries over his career. He received the U.S. GAO Meritorious Service Award in 1991.
Mr. Martin was a man of strong faith and had a passion for philanthropic work. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Sanford and he served as a deacon, elder and Sunday School teacher in various churches over the years. Having joined the Sanford Lions Club in 2000, he served as Vice President (2003), President (2004), District Governor, 31-F (2008-2009) and New Club Development Consultant for Lions Clubs International. He helped co-found the Knights for the Blind Charitable Trust which provides financial assistance for visually-impaired individuals when individual clubs are unable to assist them. Lion Martin held several Lions honors, including the Presidential Certificate of Appreciation and Presidential Leadership Medal. He was also a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.
Known as an avid golfer, he also enjoyed woodworking, bowling, and reading, particularly Louis L’Amour westerns. While not easy in the heart of North Carolina basketball country, he remained ever faithful to his beloved Kentucky Wildcats. Some of his most cherished times were spent being “Bapa” to his grandson Liam.
He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Walter, and sisters Joyce Sturgill and Joan Melton. He is survived by his wife Lynetta of Sanford, daughter Collette (David) Drake, and grandson William “Liam” Drake of Durham, North Carolina. He is also survived by his brother Roger of Henderson, Nevada; his aunt Elsie Martin Carpenter, Florence, Kentucky; numerous cousins, nephews and nieces including Donna (Tim) Smith of Sanford.
A Memorial Service celebrating Mr. Martin’s life will be held Saturday, May 12 at 12 noon at First Presbyterian Church followed by a time for family to receive friends in The Colonnade. The Rev. Dr. Arnold Lovell and Wendell McGee, CLP will be officiating. Members of the Sanford Lions Club are asked to sit together. Burial will be private.
Memorials may be made to Knights for the Blind Charitable Trust c/o Mr. Dan Boudreau, 119 Yaupon Road, Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512 or to Sanford Lions Charitable Works, P.O. Box 892, Sanford, NC 27331.