James Edward Martin

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

For the last 84 years, James Edward Martin has touched the lives of people in Rector, Ark. and beyond. Jim loved his family and set the example for displaying unconditional love. He and his beloved wife, Pat, were inseparable. His children--Jimmy Dale, Eddie, Candy, Gaye and Jennifer--have always known the love of a kind, caring father. His 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren delighted him, often provoking smiles and laughs from the one they affectionately called "Papa."

For most of his adult life, he lived near his sister, Janette Winchester, and brother, Bill Martin. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rube and Sibyle Martin, and one granddaughter, Tonya Martin.

A member of the Rector First General Baptist Church for 52 years, he was lovingly called "Mr. Jim" by the children who rode the church van that he was honored to drive for 18 years.

Although he liked driving trucks, driving tractors, mowing his yard and working in his shop, his main hobby was visiting with people. Even on days when he felt poorly, a visit from a friend was better for Jim than a dose of medicine. He could talk with ease with most anyone. All who came in the Martin house were welcomed warmly.

He spent his last days in his favorite place--his home--with his favorite people--his wife, his children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When he visited his children, he would sometimes tell them that he was ready to go back home to Rector and that he planned to arise early in the morning and go home while the children were still sleeping. He would tell them, "You may not see me in the morning. I may already be gone when you awake." About 3:30 in the morning of June 10, 2013, Jim was ready to go home. He got up early and went home while the children were sleeping.

Though the Martin family has lost its patriarch, they are left with hordes of happy memories. Jim's love will continue through the lives of his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his family, and his friends.