Edgar Oscar “Ed” Martin, Jr, 94, went home to our Lord on Thursday, July 18th, 2013. Ed was born on July 22nd, 1918 in Paris, Texas. He was the oldest son of Edgar Oscar Martin, Sr and Bessie B. Page Martin. Ed was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Opal Irene Martin of Bryan, Texas, and his brother, Fulton Page Martin. He is survived by his sister, Johnnie Munn Weir of Watauga, Texas; children Raymond Edgar Martin of Bryan, Texas; Kenneth Page Martin of Bryan, Texas, Jeanie Kennedy Meador of Bryan, Texas, Carol Jane Martin of Vero Beach, Florida, and Eddie Jack Martin of Houston, Texas; and 15 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren also survive Ed.
Ed grew up on a farm in North Texas. Both parents were schoolteachers, and his father would often take up residence in the nearby towns where he taught. The oldest son, Ed was man of the house at an early age, responsible for the continuous daily duties of a farmer. His fondest childhood moment was receiving his beloved horse, Mac, at age 9.
Ed graduated from high school at age 15. At 16, he entered Paris Junior College, working as a janitor and ditch digger to cover his tuition and expenses. He graduated with an Associate Degree in Business. In a Depression economy, jobs were scarce, but Kress and Company, a retail chain, hired Ed over hundreds of older, more qualified applicants. He asked why he was hired, and learned it was because the recruiter had seen him digging ditches. Ed always believed in the value of hard work.
Ed met Opal in Greenville in August of 1939. Paul Stevens, the youth leader at the church that Opal attended, introduced them. He called Opal “the girl with the rubber band smile”. They were married in a small ceremony at the home of Opal’s uncle Lewis and Irene Myre on Sunday morning, Dec 24, 1939 in Greenville. The honeymoon was a single night in the Washington Hotel in Greenville where Opal worked. It was a humble start to a marriage that would span seven decades.
After eleven years with Kress, Ed began his 31-year career in management with Sears. Ed and Opal raised five children, born over a span of twenty years. The family moved over thirty times as Ed ran stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Ed’s hours were grueling, but his stores were consistently top performers. His employees loved him, and he was known for his integrity and fairness.
Ed and Opal’s Christianity was always the core of their lives. They loved the Lord, and were active members of the Church of Christ for all 71 years of their marriage. Ed served as an Elder for the A&M Church of Christ in College Station as well as prior congregations in Duncanville, Lafayette, LA and Marshall. Their favorite charity and their legacy has been the Camp of the Hills, a beautiful Christian retreat in the hill country that ministers to the spiritual and emotional needs of inner city children. Always servants, for almost half of their seventy-one years together, they provided care and shelter for at least one adult family member living in their home with them.
After their retirement in 1977, Ed and Opal settled in Bryan and became avid road warriors. They visited every U.S. state and made friends from coast to coast. Many of their adventures took place in their beloved Volkswagen Camper. A testament to their love: on three different occasions, they drove their camper from Texas to Alaska and back, living in it for up to three months at a time.
After their traveling days ended, Ed and Opal lived in Crestview Retirement Community for many years. Lifelong servants, they were well known for the care and assistance they provided to other residents. In 2009, they celebrated their 70th anniversary together at the A&M Church of Christ, and hundreds of their friends and family gathered to honor their life and legacy.
As the years took their toll, Ed and Opal began to need assistance themselves. The family wants to express our deepest gratitude to Tammy Moore, Faith Moore, Regina Estes, Megan McLain, Raquel Galarza, Sabrina Evans, Barbra Lockett, Jacki Baugh and Candice Gantt for the loving care they provided for Ed and Opal.
The memorial service will be held on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 12 o’clock in the afternoon at A&M Church of Christ, 2475 Earl Rudder Freeway South, College Station, TX 77845. A private family graveside service for Ed will be held at Rest-Ever Memorial Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Camp of the Hills, 1552 CR 344, Marble Falls, TX 78654 or a charity of your choice. Funeral services are being arranged by Callaway-Jones Funeral Home, 3001 South College Avenue, Bryan, TX 77801.
Condolences may be left for the family at CallawayJones.com