VERNON MARTIN Jr.

Mr. Vernon Martin Jr., 85, affectionately known as Coochi by his Tidewater family, of Hopewell, entered eternal rest on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, at the Hopewell Healthcare Center, Hopewell.

He was the son of the late Vernon Martin Sr. and Catherine Vann. He was born on March 18, 1927, in Norfolk, Va. He was preceded in death by his stepson, William A Jones Jr., and stepdaughter, Sarah M. Jones.

He served in the United States Army and was a veteran of the Korean War. He was a retired employee of Allied Chemical. At an early age, he joined First Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk. In later years he moved to Petersburg and joined Mount Olivet Baptist Church, where he served faithfully for many years.

After making his home in Hopewell, he joined Friendship Baptist Church where he served as deacon, member of the Sanctuary Choir and male chorus.

Mr. Martin was known for helping others and driving the city van in Hopewell, and delivering food to the elderly. They always welcomed his laughter, joy and smiling face each day. He often volunteered with his wife at the food pantry, part-time bus driver for Petersburg City Schools and private bus companies. He enjoyed volunteering for local community and school activities. He was an avid fisherman, wonderful cook and a great fan of the Washington Redskins.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Florine B. Martin; loving daughter, Vanessa Harrison (Joseph) of Petersburg; stepdaughters, the Rev. Sylvia E. Jones of Petersburg, Floresta D. Jones of Spotswood, N.J.; devoted first counsins, Dr. Marion Hughes Matthews of Suffolk and Bernard Hughes of Chesapeake; goddaughters, Tisha Harvell of Chesterfield and Hazel Rodgers of Spotswood, N.J.; grandchild, Gabrielle Alexis Rodgers of Spotswood, N.J.; host of other relatives, neighbors and friends of Hopewell, Petersburg and surrounding areas.

A celebration of life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at Friendship Baptist Church, 1305 Arlington Road, Hopewell, with the Rev. Dr. Carl M. Johnson, pastor, will eulogize. Interment will follow in the Appomattox Cemetery, Hopewell.

Arrangements have been entrusted tot he staff of Turner-Bland Funeral Home, Hopewell; the Rev. William N. Bland Jr. and Mr. James I. Gay, funeral directors. For more information or an online condolence, please visit, www.blandenterprisesinc.com.

Published in The Progress-Index from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2013