Robert Lee Martin

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…"

These were words that Robert Lee Martin modeled his life around. Born Sept. 11, 1924 in Paola, Kan., Bob moved with his mother, Hazelle Martin and sister, Myrtle to Vernon County, Mo., where he lived with his grandfather, John T. Shaffer and uncle, Roy E. Shaffer. As a child growing up during the Depression, he recalled attending and graduating from the eighth grade at a one-room school house, hard work on the farm and riding into town for Sunday socials.

After graduating from Nevada High School in 1942, he attended Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Mo., for one year. World War II caused him to be drafted into the Navy in June of 1943. The Navy released him in January 1946, and he attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he received a Master's degree in business education in 1954.

Bob married Martha Reese on June 15, 1952, and they moved to Gatesville, Texas, where he was employed as a case worker and recreation director at the State School for boys.

Upon receiving his Master's degree he and Martha moved to Odessa, Texas, where he taught business and Spanish at the junior high school. Bob became a full-time instructor at Odessa College in 1956, later serving as Dean of the Evening College. One year later, he was blessed with his first daughter. Exactly two years later to the day, he was again blessed with his second daughter.

In 1968, Bob accepted an appointment in the Junior College section of the State Department of Higher Education in Jefferson City, Mo.

In 1970, Bob was blessed with his third child, a son.

In July 1978, he accepted a teaching assignment at Tarrant County Community College in Fort Worth, Texas. He retired from teaching in 1984.

In 1995, he and Martha retired to Nevada, where he raised cattle on their farm. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Nevada where he was an active elder and choir member. Ten years later, wanting to be closer to his family, Bob and Martha returned to Texas where they have been living in Azle ever since.

Bob's professional accomplishments were dwarfed by his commitment to all those around him. He was a friend to all and always the first to lend a helping hand. He volunteered tirelessly for his church, Habitat for Humanity and Care Corps. He loved to sing and his wit with a pen will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Bob was surrounded by those who loved him in his final moments and survive him: his wife of 56 years, Martha; daughters, Jodi Thomas and husband Mike, of Fort Wayne, Ind., Suzi McAlpine and husband Don, of North Richland Hills, Texas; son, John Robert Martin and wife Sarah of Azle, Texas; and grandchildren Thomas and Duncan McAlpine and Kyla Thomas.

The family would like to send a special thank you to the wonderful staffs of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and Alpha Omega Hospice for their high level of professionalism and caring attitudes. Memorial services will be held on Friday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m., at Saint Paul Presbyterian Church in North Richland Hills, Texas.