Donie Neal “D.D.” Martin

by Lynn McMillen
0 comment

Donie Neal “D.D.” Martin of Courtland, Alabama died peacefully on Monday, May 1, 2023. She
was preceded in death by her brother, Henry DeBardeleben Neal, her parents, William Mills
Neal and Donie DeBardeleben (Neal) Allison, and her husband Lawson Sykes Martin. She is
survived by her sister, Virginia Neal Almand (Bond Almand), four daughters, Virginia Larkin
Martin (John Thornton), Anne Randolph Martin, Ellen Pratt Martin, Donie Martin Carlson (Ken
Carlson), and six cherished grandchildren, Henry Thornton, Virginia Thornton, Stuart Thornton,
Lelia Carlson, Neal Carlson, and Sykes Carlson.
Born Donie DeBardeleben Neal in Birmingham, Alabama on March 14, 1940, D.D. was curious
and fearless with a quick wit and a sharp intellect. She was a graduate of The Brook Hill School
in Birmingham and Goucher College in Baltimore. She danced with the Birmingham Ballet,
worked with the first electron microscope in Alabama, was an accomplished canoeist, and could
tie any knot. She became a farmer’s wife in 1963 and embraced her role with gusto. Always with
a twinkle in her eye, she was a lifelong learner and a lover of the natural world. She was a
seeker and sharer of things interesting and beautiful, and more recently, a keen user of emojis.
D.D. relished the fine arts, entertaining, and irreverent humor. Possessed of a green thumb, she
was widely respected by gardening communities both local and national. She considered the
Sidewalk Garden at St. John’s her ministry. Throughout her life D.D. championed many charities
and causes, volunteered for and led numerous civic and historical preservation organizations,
and enthusiastically supported the many people she loved. Proudly known as GaGa to her
grandchildren, she never missed a game, a performance, or a graduation if she could help it.
She was generous with her time, talents, and opinions and leaves behind legions of more
confident gardeners, community volunteers, cooks, knitters, and flower arrangers.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the charity of your choice or the Alabama
Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Camp Merrie-Woode, or The
Courtland Historical Foundation.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 on Friday, May 5 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in
Decatur, Alabama.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.