William Edward Martin Sr., 92, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, went to be with Jesus on March 23, 2014. He was born August 29, 1921, on the family plantation in Screven County, Georgia, to the late Peyton Wade and Gertrude Perry Martin. He was the grandson of the late Rosalie Wade and Robert Hayne Martin and the great-great-grandson of the late Rev. Peyton Lisby and Elizabeth Wade, former owners of the Wade Plantation.
Mr. Martin was a 1939 graduate of Millen High School and attended the University of Georgia
, where he met his loving wife, Winifred. After their marriage, they moved to Screven County to continue farming the Martin Plantation. In addition, he ran a country store on the property for many years. He enjoyed entertaining his family with stories of getting lost in the swamp, raising pigs and chickens and his love of fishing and hunting.
The family home burned in 1955 and they moved to Sylvania, where he continued his love of farming by planting a garden that provided his family and friends with fresh vegetables until the age of 82.
Mr. Martin was a loyal member of Bethel Brick Church. His great-great-grandfather, the Rev. Peyton L. Wade, donated the land to build the church in 1827. In April of 2005, it was a great thrill to him that the Bethel Brick Church Homecoming Service was in his honor. That same Sunday, the research library of Evangelical Ministries of Sylvania was dedicated to him and his wife and named the William Edward and Winifred Maxwell Martin Research Library. Today, the library is approaching 50,000 volumes.
The education of his grandchildren was a top priority for him and he contributed financial support for the college education of all five grandchildren. In addition, he purchased each one's first car upon their graduation from high school.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Winifred Maxwell Martin of Lexington, Georgia; and his two sons and daughters-in-law, William Edward (Judalyn) Martin Jr. of Coralville, Iowa, and Charles Wade (Rebecca) Martin of Sylvania, Georgia. He was blessed with five grandchildren, William Edward (Kim) Martin III of Coralville, Iowa, Marnie Martin (Oscar) Cedillos of Denver, Colorado, John Wade (Laura) Martin of Watkinsville, Georgia, Jenna Martin (Bryan) Davis of North Liberty, Iowa, and Elizabeth Martin (Jeremy) Hill of Wichita, Kansas. In addition, 13 great-grandchildren, Kiah, Willa and Briar Martin, Conner and Isabel Cedillos, Katelyn and William (Liam) Davis, Cecelia, Brennan and Kayla Hill, Levi, William and Eliana Martin.
His funeral and the celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 3 p.m. in the chapel of Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home, Sylvania, Georgia, with the Rev. George Pevey and the Rev. Mike Benson officiating.
Visitation will be held immediately prior to the service from 1:30-3 p.m.
Pallbearers are William E. Martin III, John Wade Martin, Jeremy Ryan Hill, Bryan Davis, Oscar Cedillos, Ashley Bragg and Ken Bragg.
Honorary pallbearers are Dr. David Maxwell, Paul Riddle, Ed Maxwell, John Faz and Max Manack.
Memorials may be made to Ogeechee Area Hospice, P.O. Box 531, Statesboro, Georgia, 30459; and Bethel Brick United Methodist Church, c/o Tammy Cain, 1202 Mobley Pond Road, Girard, Georgia, 30426.
Friends may sign the online register book at www.joineranderson.com.
Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.
Statesboro Herald, March 25, 2014
Sign the Legacy online guestbook at www.statesboroherald.com.