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Tommy Martin


1932 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Tommy Martin Obituary
Tommy Martin, 84

Tommy Martin's long struggle with cancer ended Monday, November 21st, 2016 at Hospice of the Ozarks in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Thomas Wayne (Tommy) Martin Jr. was born outside of Marshall on September 21st, 1932 at the home of his parents, Wayne and Nellie Martin. He had the privilege to grow up in Marshall during its glory years. He had many stories of growing up on the square in Marshall where his parents ran a grocery store. Tommy attended Marshall High School and graduated in 1951. He was a member of the 1951 State Championship basketball team.

Upon completion of high school, Tommy began his military service. He was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was gravely injured during his training when his parachute failed to open, his backup parachute opening only seconds before impact.

Upon completion of his military service he came home to Marshall. There he met and married his lifelong companion and wife of 60 years, Joyce Dell (Sparks) Martin. They were married May 24th, 1956 at Clinton, Arkansas. From this union 5 children were born, Donna (Jackie) Hopkins of Mtn. Home, Wayne (Susan) Martin of Marshall, Thecia (Kelley) Smith of Marshall, Jeff Martin of Marshall and Sarah (Mike) Kendrick of Marshall. He also had 9 grandchildren, Kelly Hopkins of Mtn. Home, Lindsey Hopkins of Mtn. Home, Tommy Martin of Marshall, Mallory Martin of Marshall, Farrell Smith of Yellville, Summer Smith of Marshall, Alexandra Coffman of Jonesboro, Graci Martin of Marshall and Dylan Kendrick of Marshall. He also had 6 great-grandchildren. Tommy is preceded in death by his parents, Wayne and Nellie Martin, three brothers, Clyde Martin, Clell Martin and Claude Martin, and one sister, Jo Ella Mainord.

After his marriage, Tommy and Dell moved to Los Alamos, NM where he was employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He then moved his growing family to Springfield, MO where he worked in sales. Tommy then returned to his boyhood home of Marshall where he worked multiple jobs to support his family. He eventually started to work for Coffman Funeral Home which he later owned and operated. Tommy had found his life long career. He was presented with a plaque for 50 years of service from Roller-Coffman Funeral Home in 2013. During his 50 years of service he touched the lives of most all of Searcy County. During this time he served at the state level on the Arkansas Cemetery Board and the Arkansas Burial Association Board. They also owned and operated Marshall Monument until 2006. He also developed Marshall Memorial Garden cemetery during this time. In 1962 he was elected as Searcy County Coroner. In 2002, State Representative Roy Ragland presented Tommy with a citation honoring his 40 years of service to the citizens of Searcy County. He did these jobs with the dignity and integrity that the jobs required. He was elected to the MHS school board where he served for 15 years. He was involved with many major changes during this time, including the addition of the new high school, the Ray Moore gymnasium and addition of the MHS football program. In 2013 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by the MHS alumni for his many years of service to our school and Searcy County. Tommy was a member of the Campbell Lodge #115 in Marshall.

There will be a visitation at Roller-Coffman Funeral Home on Friday, November 25th, 2016 from 6:00 till 8:00 PM. The funeral service will be on Saturday, November 26th, 2016 at 2:00 PM.

We would like to thank the many friends and family for all the prayers and support that we received over the last several weeks. Tommy led a life of unwavering commitment to his school, his town, Searcy County, his country and most of all to his family, serving all with honor, integrity and distinction.
Published in Baxter Bulletin on Nov. 26, 2016
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