William Martin

William R Martin

Saturday, July 19th, 1941 - Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
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William R. Martin, 78 years old, of Franklin, NC, passed away on March 18, 2020. He was born on July 19, 1941 in Lenoir, NC to the late Ray and Vivian Martin. He was a graduate of NC State University with a degree in Agriculture/Economics with honorary degrees from Alpha Zeta Fraternity and Farmhouse Social Fraternity. Mr. Martin went to work for USDA FmHA in 1963 and retired from USDA in 1994 in Franklin, NC.

He was married to Ann Pennington Martin in 1967. They spent the majority of their time over 28 years of marriage loving and caring for their children, their friends and their families. Ann Martin died of Pancreatic Cancer in 1995. They are survived by their children, Julie Ann Brown (Denny) and James Henderson Martin (Julie). He is survived by one brother, Jim Martin (Mikki) of Lancaster, PA and six beautiful grandchildren. (Emma, William, Jonathan and Gracie Brown and Luke and Avery Martin)

In 2001, he married Jane Wimpey Martin, who also survives. They had many adventures during their almost 20 years of marriage. They enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and visiting with their grandchildren.

Finally, he has two unadopted sons who he loved as his own. Parrish and Mark Young and their numerous children and grandchildren were and remain a major part of his family.

Mr. Martin was an owner of J&J Tree Farm, Alpine Cottages and a property management business. In every instance, the names of his companies and properties were named after someone he loved. He was not only a landlord and business owner, but also took a genuine interest in the lives and families of his tenants and employees. He especially loved the Christmas Tree business as it gave him an opportunity to visit with long-time customers who became long time friends - coming from throughout the Southeast to choose and cut a tree with their families and reflect on the past year during the holiday season.

He was the past chairman of the Macon County Election Board, was a member of the Macon County Equalization Board and was on the Macon County Jury Commission for over 25 years. He was a member of the Franklin Lions Club, was a long-time tailtwister, and as of the date of his death, he was the longest standing living member of that organization (42 years). He was involved in the Santa Pal Program as well and loved to participate in the July 4th barbecue that was a long standing tradition in Macon County.

Bill Martin was community minded and found the most satisfaction in helping others, traveling with Jane and being with his friends and extended family. He was an active member of Clark’s Chapel Methodist Church, supported many organizations within the community and it is his wishes that we all continue to do so.

The family would like to extend their gratitude to the Messino Cancer Centers, their doctors, nurses and employees, who were with us every step of the way.

Due to the current restrictions against large gatherings, the family will have a private ceremony. A celebration of life will be planned for later in the year.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Clarks Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery
    Clarks Chapel Road
    Franklin, NC 28734
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Jackie McLamb

Posted at 09:30am
Franklin was my first duty office in my employment with USDA as an assistant county supervisor in 1969. Bill and Ms. Slagle were the office staff. I remember so fondly Bill and Ann making a young couple just married feel so welcome. I learned so much from Bill, more so about people, and will always remember him as friend and mentor. Bill was to me an exceptionally good man. Thank God for letting me share a small portion of his life. My prayers for the comfort of his family and friends.

Dana Allen Sessions

Posted at 09:01am
So sorry to hear of your loss. My Mom worked for Farmers Home in Madison County and I worked for them in Raleigh. Bill was well known and respected for his work. Your family will remain in my prayers.

Doug Huntley-Laurinburg, NC

Posted at 10:53pm
It grieves me to learn of the passing of my of friend, Bill Martin. I initially came to town with Northwestern Bank and during the wonderful years I was blessed to call Franklin "home" (1973-1987), I became acquainted with Bill early-on. Once I joined the Franklin Lions Club, I saw first-hand that Bill was a "doer" and active in so many ways. Then came the time I was invited to join the "Blue Valley Gang" and enjoy those camping trips during the spring & summer months. Bill and I had friendly political disagreements but that never came between our friendship. He was a fun-loving guy and I am glad to have made his acquaintance. I'll never forget him. My sincere sympathy is extended to all his family and friends.

Henry and Linda Wall

Posted at 10:09am
James, Julie and Families, Please accept our SINCERE condolences and sympathy in losing Bill. Now there is only one GRUMPY OLD MAN left!!! He will be missed by many. Love, Henry and Linda Wall

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