Vinson Funeral Home
456 East Tarpon Avenue
Tarpon Springs, FL
MARTIN, Carol (Ellis) Carol Helen Ellis Martin, a Benefactor died peacefully in her sleep at home on Tuesday, April 7, 2021. She was 76. Daughter of Alpheus and Helen Ellis, Carol was born on December 25, 1944, in St. Petersburg Florida. She resided most of her life in Tarpon Springs, Florida. At the age of 64, Carol was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. But that never stopped Carol from living life to the fullest. Carol was a graduate of Tarpon Springs High School in 1962. Carol married her first husband in the early '60s, had three children, and divorced. Shortly afterward, she met and married her second husband, Paul W Martin with whom she shared a wonderful life until his death in 2005. She is survived by her three daughters, seven grandchildren, her dog Molly, two cats Max and Ruby, a dozen cows, and two goats. Carol's father, Alpheus L. Ellis, worked very hard and long hours as a banker in the local community. Following her father's death in 1995, Carol assumed the duties of her father's many varied businesses, which she continued throughout her life. Carol was instrumental in acquiring, developing, and managing shopping centers and other commercial properties in the Tampa Bay area. She was a businesswoman who ran several companies and treated all her employees as family. While her career accomplishments are many, Carol measured success by the number of lives she touched through philanthropy with some of the area's most influential cultural, arts, and religious institutions that were dear to her heart. She'll be remembered fondly for her generosity and relentless pursuit to make a positive impact on others. Carol had a soft heart, she embodied the definition of a "giver" and truly left the world a better place. Carol was Chair of the Ellis Foundation, which was merged with Merrell Foundation to form EllMar Foundation, in 2006, a benefactor in the construction of the Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs. She established a Chair for Parkinson's and Downs Syndrome research at USF and established a renewable scholarship program for Tarpon Springs High School (TSHS) graduates. Additionally, Carol has been a major supporter of The Jacobson's Culinary Academy and Real World Scholars, an organization that integrates entrepreneurship in K-12 education. Carol is also a past member of the board of St. Petersburg Junior College (now St. Petersburg College), the Children's Home Society of Florida, and the board (Florida) of NCNB (now Bank of America). Carol also took special interest in improving the lives of wounded and injured veterans, supporting numerous programs offering rehabilitative therapeutic outdoor adventure challenges. She loved to see other people smile and went out of her way to bring people together in inspiring ways. In her last years, she held incredibly memorable gatherings. One of which was on her 75th birthday. Where she gave an everlasting memory of being lifted from her wheelchair to dance to the song "If You Can Only Imagine" while the band MercyMe performed in person. She loved the Lord and knew the Lord loved her. Carol was an accomplished and passionate artist, loved to travel, and sought adventure and laughter. She loved going to Buccaneers games and was talented at restoring homes. Carol's frequency of visits to Walt Disney World would seem to qualify it as her second home. She was multi-talented, inspiring, fun-loving, and truly ready for anything. In lieu of flowers, Carol wished for contributions to local charities in the Tarpon Springs area in her memory. The funeral and celebration of life, will be held at Innisbrook Resort, 36750 US Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor, Wednesday, April 14, from 5-8:30 pm, attire is tropical dressy, the brighter the better. This event will be held under a tent outdoors. Vinson Funeral Home
Published by Tampa Bay Times on Apr. 11, 2021.
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Funeral service
Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor
36750 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL
Celebration of Life
Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor
36750 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL
Funeral services provided by:
Vinson Funeral Home
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9 Entries
carol martin was my cousin whom i spent many summers with her and my aunt Helen
patricia lansden atkinson
October 25, 2021
I just found out that Mrs. Martin has passed away. What a lovely and generous person she was. My condolences to her family and friends - may she rest in peace.
Francine Diemer
October 5, 2021
A beautiful lady who touched many lives with grace and warmth and a true philanthropist.
Kim Azar
July 13, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Simone Taylor
April 17, 2021
Carol & her daughter Lynne gave me the opportunity to attend college to through scholarships when I thought higher education was the farthest thing from possible due to finances and grades. Without ever meeting me, they saw my potential & encouraged me to pursue my passions. I am now an educator & encouraging others to pursue their passions as Carol and Lynne did me. I am so grateful for Carol’s giving spirit.
April 11, 2021
As a Tarpon High graduate, I was one of the many recipients of Carol's giving kindness being a Helen Ellis Scholarship recipient. The scholarship enabled me to live my college experience to the fullest - exploring extracurriculars and campus activities. Even when I transferred colleges, from Florida State to Smith, the Helen Ellis Scholarship continued to support my studies.

I found a letter from Carol in response to mine from 2011, which is a testament to her generosity. I wanted to share a snippet to remember the tremendous support and impact she had on so many lives, including mine:

"Reading your letter fills me with pride on how well you are doing. Your growth in all directions is inspiring. If you open the Wellness Center anywhere around here, let me know, and I will be among your first people to attend."

May she rest in peace.
Allie Felix
April 11, 2021
So many wonderful memories of Carol´s giving spirit and support for those in need throughout our community. Her light will continue to shine through those she has helped.
Susan Conrad
April 10, 2021
Tarpon Springs Yacht Club
April 10, 2021
Carol gave a lot of effort to better the lives of others, especially wounded veterans. She will be truly missed.
April 10, 2021
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