Mrs. Florine Brown Martin, 94, of Hopewell, entered eternal rest at her residence on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.
She was the daughter of the late Harney Benjamin Brown and Sarah Giles Brown. She was born on Dec. 9, 1918, in Hopewell, Va. She was preceded in death by her husband, William Abner Jones Sr.; son, William Abner Jones Jr.; daughter, Sarah Marie Jones, and recently, her second husband, Vernon Martin Jr., who passed on Jan. 29, 2013.
She was a faithful and active member of Friendship Baptist Church, where she was a deaconess, missionary, soprano soloist, and president emeritus of the senior choir. Her senior choir anniversaries became a popular and well-known annual event at the church where many church choirs, ensembles, quartets, and gospel artists participated over the decades. She was the founder of the male chorus of Friendship Baptist Church. She received the "Legend Award" from the Friendship Baptist Church Gospel Chorale. At Friendship, she was a Sunday school teacher and assistant superintendent for many years. She was also named missionary emeritus for her outstanding service and leadership in the missionary ministry.
She was a retiree of the Hopewell Public Schools with 37 years of service as a school cafeteria worker, manager, and later, an instructional aide for Special Needs students at DuPont Elementary School. She was a member and former secretary of the Hopewell Retired Teachers Association. A graduate of John Tyler Community College, she also attended Virginia State University. She was honored by Virginia State University Alumni (GPAAA) as a recipient of the esteemed Solomon Wisdom Award which recognizes parents of VSU graduates.
She was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the City of Hopewell. She was a member of the Senior Advisory Commission for the City of Hopewell. She also received the Citizenship Award from the SCLC. Mrs. Martin was also president of the Goodwill Chorus of Petersburg and Vicinity under the direction of William R. Relaford. She was a dedicated member of the music committee of the Bethany Baptist Association of Southside Virginia, and received a 25-year award for her faithful service to the Bethany Baptist Association Choir, and the Women's Department Outstanding Service Award. Her passion for music which began at an early age was a gift she shared with many across the years through her melodious voice.
In addition to her musical activities and contributions, Mrs. Florine Martin enjoyed serving others. Volunteering was close to her heart and for more than 25 years, she was a volunteer at the John Randolph Medical Center. She also enjoyed working as a volunteer at the Hopewell Food Pantry. In addition, she was a Red Cross volunteer, as well as a diligent worker for charities, such as the Salvation Army, Holiday Hands, American Heart Fund, American Cancer Society and various foods drives to assist families.
Most important to her was her love for God, family, and church. She was a gifted cook who was known for her delicious meals and baked desserts, which she lovingly shared with others. She believed in encouraging people and providing words of wisdom as well. She strongly believed that one should put God first, live a Christian life, and always treat others with respect.
She is survived by two devoted daughters, the Rev. Sylvia E. Jones of Petersburg, and Floresta D. Jones of Spotswood, N.J.; a stepdaughter, Vanessa Harrison (Joseph) of Petersburg; a niece, Jean Williams and great-niece Sherri Wilkens of Bridgeport, Conn.; a nephew, John Washington of Petersburg; great-nieces, Gail Hall, Yvonne Hall, Denise Hall all of Bridgeport, Conn.; great-nephew, King Elleba of Bridgeport, Conn.; one grandchild, Gabrielle Alexis Rodgers, Spotswood, N.J.; goddaughters, Tisha Harvell of Chesterfield, Va., and Hazel Rodgers of Spotswood, N.J.
There will be a public viewing on the day of service at the church, 9 a.m. until hour of service. The immediate family will assemble at the residence one hour prior to service. Honorary and active pallbearers are asked to assemble at the church by 11:30 a.m.
A celebration of life will be held at 12 p.m., Friday, March 8, 2013, at Friendship Baptist Church, 1305 Arlington Road, Hopewell, with the Rev. Dr. Carl M. Johnson, pastor and eulogist. Interment will follow in the Appomattox Cemetery, Hopewell. There will be a viewing on the day of service at the church from 9 a.m. until the hour of service.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the staff of the Turner–Bland Funeral Home, Hopewell, the Rev. William N. Bland Jr. and Mr. James I. Gay, funeral directors. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit WWW.Blandenterprisesinc.com